Finance News & Insights

The cash drain that's costing firms' $650 billion per year

Between handheld gadgets (smartphones, Blackberries, etc.), time-wasting websites and office gossip, there’s no shortage of distractions for today’s workers.

And research show it’s taken a chunk out of companies’ bottom lines. According to new research from Workplace Options, workplace distractions cost U.S. businesses an estimated $650 billion per year.

The majority (53%) of employees say these distractions directly affect their productivity.

Pinpointing the main cause of the distractions is difficult, however. Reason: Workers are conflicted about whether technology helps or hinders their day-to-day tasks.

For example: Around 60% of employees in the study said having a handheld device increases their productivity. But 35% of workers said the devices increase distractions during the day.

One interesting finding in the study: Distractions have actually driven a number of workers to alter their schedules. In fact, 42% of employees are extending their workdays — by coming in early or leaving later — just to avoid distractions.

Readers, do workplace distractions affect your productivity? What are some of the distractions you face on a daily basis? Share them with us in the Comments section.

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