How to deal with the worst law firm office distractions
According to research published by (desk space online marketplace) Office Genie, online distractions steal 48… Read more
According to research published by (desk space online marketplace) Office Genie, online distractions steal 48 minutes of productivity from the average UK worker every day. That’s four hours a week – or some 200 hours a year per employee. Office Genie estimates that this costs UK employers £88bn over the course of a year (or £2,808 per employee).
Office Genie reckons workers aged 16-24 waste an average of 62 minutes every working day looking at non-work-related websites. Those aged 55-64 admitted to 27 minutes per working day lost – much less, but still significant.
And people working from home were found to waste 72 minutes online each working day, compared to just 34 minutes for their office-based colleagues. The top online distractions were (of course ) social media (43 per cent admitted to browsing social networks at work), online shopping (39 per cent) and viewing news websites (34 per cent).
Office Genie advises employers against “introducing draconian measures”, such a checking browser histories, because it can “breed a culture of mistrust”. Instead, clear employment policies on internet and email use should be communicated to all staff.
Music that’s too raucous, repetitive or loud can be hugely distracting, as can a colleague singing, humming or whistling, while headphone noise overspill can also be very IRRITATING. Trying to reach consensus among all team members on what music can be played, when, where and how loudly is advised. If not, your staff handbook should clearly state your firm’s policy on music, including whether you allow staff to wear headphones when working (which has been described as “career poison”).
And having to listen to a colleague noisily chomping their way through a bag of crisps or busily scrape away at a bowl of cereal can be equally infuriating, as can having to smell other people’s food (especially more pungent “delights” such as curries and meals containing garlic). Better to insist that such foods are consumed in a dedicated dining area only, where possible.