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Focus/Comprehension

Are Office Distractions Actually Good for Productivity?

Let me spill the beans right away and say that, yes, office distractions can improve productivity—but only within reason, of course. An article for Virgin reminds us that occasional break room trips, bathroom breaks, and chatting can refresh our batteries so that, when we continue working, it will be with renewed vigor. These experiences are all relative though, and your mileage may vary with one form of distraction over another. You can view the full …

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Minimizing Distractions: Managing Your Work Environment

There are strategies to be used against each of the main types of distraction that arise at work, and an article at MindTools makes the effort to address every one of them. Covering the topics of email, disorganization, instant messaging, phone calls, the Internet, other people, general work environment, other projects, and even tiredness, it really seeks to comprehensively solve your distraction problems. A somewhat older study suggests distractions could cost businesses $588 billion annually, …

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How to Avoid Distractions in the Workplace

Too many distractions at work lead to impaired judgement and feelings of frustration. Jacquelyn Smith writes for Forbes with insights from career experts to help you get a better handle of work distractions. Narrowing Focus The potential number of distractions that can present themselves at any one time is staggering. It can be a problem if people start to think of some of these distractions as “unavoidable work issues” when it is not really true, …

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CareerBuilder’s 10 Top Work Distractions

CareerBuilder conducted a survey of nearly 2200 hiring and HR managers to get a pulse of what ruins productivity the fastest. In the process, they learned things both useful and pretty funny. Cell phones come in as the first place distraction, at 52 percent. The Internet and general gossip come next at 44 percent and 37 percent respectively. The rest of them in order go like this: social media at 36 percent, email at 31 …

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The 6 Biggest Office Distractions

In an article for American Express OPEN Forum, Mike Michalowicz identifies six of the most practical distractions we run into on a daily basis and how to address them. The first distraction is plainly “the talker,” the person who wants to just keep gabbing about anything and everything. In these cases, be up front and say you do not have the time to talk, but you can schedule time to talk later if it is …

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5 Ways to Minimize Office Distractions

Studies suggest that the mere presence of a phone can hurt our focus, among myriad other factors. In an article for Harvard Business Review, Joseph Grenny understands there are just too many nuisances to ignore, and so he provides strategies for better handling them. Focus on You One exercise you can do right now is, for the next 10 times you realize you have been interrupted, consider how you were feeling at the time of …

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4 Potential Benefits of Open Offices

The backlash against open offices is heavy, but some businesses think they know how to do it right. The Motley Fool is one of those businesses, and they highlight four plusses of the open office model. The first is that it fosters more real, human communication, and they point to how email traffic dropped more than 50 percent at GlaxoSmithKline after adopting an open office layout. A second benefit is that company leadership becomes more …

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Why the Open Office Fails, and a Minor Solution

In an article for Forbes, Susan Adams interviews Vitra’s regional U.S. director Nigel Scott-Williams about the existing problems with open offices. Sounding Off on Problems A major problem with open offices is “benching,” the idea that lining everybody up as if sitting at benches will somehow foster greater collaboration. The problem with this idea is that people usually only feel comfortable sharing information once they have had time to think about things on their own, …

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Are Open Offices Destroying the Workplace?

As surprising as it sounds, research supports that upward of 70 percent of U.S. offices have taken the open office model. But just because it works for Facebook does not mean it works for everyone. Lindsey Kaufman looks at the potential problems in an article for The Washington Post. Save the Workers An open floor plan can maximize floor space and minimize costs, which is terrific in theory, except that it generates myriad visual and …

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The Open Office: A Failed Experiment

The hope is that an open office layout will inspire greater organizational cohesion and allow workers to relax more. The reality is often something else entirely. Maria Konnikova explains for The New Yorker. Unfettered Distractions Research demonstrates that open office layouts can damage attention span, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction. Stress levels go up, and motivation goes down. In fact, one survey of 38,000 workers found that employees performed even worse proportionate to their escalating …

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