Zenefits: How to Quiet Workplace Distractions and Increase Productivity

*This blog post is an excerpt from an article that I wrote for Zenefits. You can find the original here.

It seems that everywhere you look around the office, there is something to break your concentration. At work, there’s Slack, Jira, emails, and Confluence. Your friends and family text you all day. Your workflow is constantly interrupted by calls, push notifications, or conversations happening just outside your cubicle (or for those in open office floor plans– all around you). How are employees expected to get any uninterrupted work done with so many workplace distractions?

Let’s take a look at some of the distractions workers face today, and how to encourage employees and coworkers to decrease them. We’ll also discuss some ideas to help increase focus and boost productivity.

Common Workplace Distractions and How to Overcome Them

  • Smartphones: It is nearly impossible to resist the siren call of that phone in your pocket. If you get a text, Facebook notification, or phone call, it almost feels painful not to check it. Then once you respond, that leads to a back and forth that could suck away a lot of time. To avoid temptation, try putting your phone on “do not disturb.” You could even–gasp!–turn it off while you’re at work.
  • Emails: In many offices, employees have their email set up to notify them of each new message. When the notification pops up on your screen, you feel compelled to answer immediately. Try changing your settings so that push notifications are disabled. Then schedule a designated time of day to check your emails and respond to them.

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