Are we really living in an age of distraction, as many cynics from older generations are apt to claim? Certainly not to as great an extent as many make it out to be. But with office life becoming more involved and hectic all the time, it’s clear that the problem of distraction – something that has plagued us for many a century! – now has bigger effects on output.
If you want to keep your employees on task and on point, here’s what you should do.
Consider providing breakfast
Is breakfast really the most important meal of the day? Probably. Sure, people have a tendency to overestimate its importance (remember that a lot of these claims and their associated studies come from cereal companies!), but hunger, even if you don’t notice it, does have an effect on your concentration. So maybe it would be beneficial to provide some breakfast items that employees can enjoy when they come in. You could even look at office catering services if you really want to take it to the next level. Hey, it may even encourage workers to come in earlier!
Sort out those chairs
One of the biggest sources of distraction in the office is a lack of comfort. An uncomfortable chair encourages fidgeting and the need to get up and move about (which you shouldn’t exactly discourage – it’s healthier for them to walk around for a few minutes, anyway). Back pain can also result, which won’t help with concentration at all. So put more of a focus on ergonomics in your office if you want to improve productivity.
Keep the place clean
Some people may feel that they work best amongst mess. But this isn’t most, and you shouldn’t impose mess on everyone, anyway. You can get the help of a fantastic service if you haven’t got time to get the vacuum cleaner and sponges out after work! You should also be encouraging employees to keep their workstations tidy to help with individual concentration, but don’t be too strict about it unless it affects the employees immediately around them.
Enhance project management
So many productivity problems can be chalked up to lackluster management. Hey, project management is a pretty complex and demanding task! It really is a massive achievement when a project can be managed with minimal problems. But project managers who have perfected this art don’t really exist – there are too many varying factors that can come into play to mess things up. You could look into services that help streamline the project process. This can help keep people from getting distracted by an unsorted assortment of tasks.
There are still some bosses out there who think that an employee listening to music while they work will mean that they’re not concentrating. It’s true that it can be a distraction for some people. But for others, music can help them be more productive, and also keeps them shut out from the distractions that a busy office often provides. So don’t be one of those bosses. Let your employees use headphones and MP3 players if they feel it will help them.