- The apps and digital tools that are supposed to help workers be more productive have also become distractions, blurring the line between work and personal tasks, a new GoTo study showed. The 2,000 office employees surveyed are "toggling between work and personal topics on any one of the hundreds of apps and devices they use," said GoTo.
- The survey found that 54% of respondents run at least five different computer programs on any given day; office workers could be working on a computer document, while opening up a browser tab or answering a text for non-work-related purposes, or using an app to schedule a meeting while participating in a video conference with colleagues overseas.
- GoTo said workplace distractions — like loud conversations and phone calls — have become the norm and cause workers to make mistakes, such as sending emails to the wrong people (57%) or badmouthing people in a message and sending it to that person accidentally (23%).
Employers can adopt and enforce policies that keep noise levels from being distracting. A 2018 Udemy report found that although 69% of workers cited distractions at work as a problem, almost as many (66%) never asked employers for help with resolving or dealing with the problem. In fact, 70% of respondents favor training that helps them become more focused and better manage their time.
GoTo recognized that tech communication tools can be a major distraction in the workplace, and workers agree; they cited socializing, phone calls and meetings as major distractions, in a 2018 Robert Half survey. The problem extends to business leaders, as well. Managers reported being less able to lead effectively because of an influx of daily emails, a study from Michigan State University found. HR can access a cadre of sources on managing emails that could help all workers be more productive.
Employees working remotely may face distractions from the office and elsewhere offsite; therefore, training on how to avoid distractions, handle emails and manage time could become a valuable benefit.