- Distraction at work is a problem for 69% of full-time employees, according to a new survey by Udemy. The group's findings, presented in Udemy In Depth: 2018 Workplace Distraction Report, also revealed that although 70% of the respondents believe training could help them become more focused on the job and better at managing their time, almost as many (66%) have never asked their managers for such training. Younger workers, in particular, have trouble keeping work and personal activities balanced on the devices they use for both.
- Respondents called chatty coworkers the leading cause of their distraction, followed by office noise, feeling overwhelmed by workplace changes and social media. Sixty percent of respondents also said that meetings are a source of distraction.
- In other survey results, 40% of respondents said that flexible/remote work options can lower workplace distractions, and 52% say they're more productive when working remotely.
If workers are struggling to prioritize their work — or struggling to balance work and personal activities — time-management training may help boost productivity.
HR also may be in a good position to evaluate whether workers are facing app overload. Employees are increasingly reporting that many of the productivity tech tools they've been handed are actually interfering with their work. Including communication applications for texts, phone calls, team messaging, web meetings and video conferencing, employees are using on average four apps, and 20% are using six or more, according to another recent report.
And if employees aren't asking for training that could improve the way they work, it's possible they don't know that they can. Employers can take a proactive approach and create a culture of learning that encourages workers to think about what kind of training they might need. To that end, surveying employees for their ideas and needs is a simple and low-cost way to find out what skills might be lacking.