The UK’s productivity problem has been hitting headlines for months, as the country continues to fall behind its European counterparts. Now, a new survey by Clarendon London has revealed the key distractions that are causing UK workers to fall behind at work, preventing them from being as productive as those in countries such as Germany, Norway, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
As a leading London recruitment agency, we love to help people stay as productive as possible at work, so here’s the top UK workplace distractions and how to avoid them.
Distraction #1 – Other colleagues
According to the 2,000 people surveyed, the biggest distraction in the workplace is other colleagues. 20.3% of respondents said they struggled to concentrate on their own work because of office gossip, other colleagues asking questions, and sometimes the noise pollution created by other staff when they’re on the phone or carrying out other tasks.
To combat this, many offices have implemented a ‘hot desk’ solution. Rather than having a fixed workspace, employees are encouraged to float around the office, finding a space for them to work that suits their needs. Those who struggle to work with distractions from their colleagues can move to somewhere quieter and put some distance between them and the latest gossip. Obviously, this is trickier for those who need to remain in a fixed position, such as those in receptionist jobs or permanent PA positions—but the rest of the office can feel free to roam around and find a space that works for them.
Distractions #2 and #3 - Phones and social media
The second biggest distraction is no surprise: mobile phones. 19.2% of respondents said their biggest source of lost productivity is their phone. With so many apps and tools on smartphones these days, it’s easy to see how employees could become distracted. This also ties in with the third most common distraction: social media. 11.1% claimed social media was their biggest distraction, tying in with the number of people who are often distracted by their mobiles.
It’s not always feasible to switch off your phone entirely during work hours. Executive assistants and those in office support jobs often need to keep their phones with them to respond to requests quickly, and their performance might be compromised without access to a smartphone. However, there are a number of apps out there that can block out the distracting apps and still give you access to the ones you might need for work, such as email or video conferencing. Offtime is available for Android and iOS, while Moment is a useful app that lets you limit how much time you spend on certain apps per day.
Other distractions identified in the survey included personal emails, people discussing topics that aren’t related to work, and even the radio in the workplace.
Distracted at work? Maybe you need a change of scene! Leading PA recruitment agency Love Success is on hand to help you find a new role where you’ll excel. Get in touch with the team today to find your dream job.
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