We’re only human – everyone gets distracted now and then at the office. But what happens when folks take their focus too far off the job?
They end up on CareerBuilder’s newest list of Strangest Productivity Killers at Work.
And this is one of the strangest lists yet. Some of them sound like something straight out of an episode of The Office. While others are issues to refer to HR right away:
- taking a sponge bath in the bathroom sink
- trying to hypnotize other employees to stop their smoking habits
- visiting a tanning bed in lieu of making deliveries
- looking for a mail order bride
- playing a video game on a cell phone while sitting in a bathroom stall
- drinking vodka while watching Netflix
- sabotaging another employee’s car tires
- sleeping on the CEO’s couch
- writing negative posts about the company on social media
- sending inappropriate pictures to other employees
- searching Google images for “cute kittens”
- building a model plane
- flying drones around the office, and
- printing pictures of animals, naming them after employees and hanging them in the work area.
No doubt your own Finance team can add to this list – they’ve probably seen some out-there things around the office.
But these exaggerated examples do remind about an all-too-common problem in every office: distractions. And it seems like there are more of them than ever in the summer months.
So how do you keep your team on point?
3 strategies beat back distractions
Here are a strategies to keep the distractions at bay:
- Tackle worst first. It’s human nature – many people avoid doing something they feel is undesirable. But guess what? Postponing the inevitable just leaves it hanging over your head all day long. And that will inevitably make people look for any distraction they can to prolong it. So encourage your staffers to ID their most dreaded task at the start of the day – and then tackle it right away. It’ll make the rest of the day feel like a downhill ride.
- Scale back on meetings. Ask most employees what the top distraction in their day is, and many will say meetings. Now may be a great time to revisit standing meetings to see how many are really necessary. Maybe that regular “touch-base meeting” can be done more informally when there are no pressing issues. Of course, remind your team they can always come to you, but making everyone get up from their desks to sit in a conference room for 30 minutes every Tuesday might not be necessary.
- Recognize when it’s time to take a break. If staffers are struggling to stay focused, sometimes it’s more productive to step away for a bit. Studies show even a 10-minute walk in natural light can rejuvenate the brain, which will make staffers return to their desks ready to work.
Info: For more on the CareerBuilder survey, click careerbuilder.com/share/aboutus/pressreleasesdetail.aspx?sd=6%2f11%2f2015&siteid=cbpr&sc_cmp1=cb_pr898_&id=pr898&ed=12%2f31%2f2015