Robert Helms
Written by
Robert Helms

We’ve all had those days when no matter what we do, we just can’t seem to focus.

We respond to every notification we get on our phones. We watch an episode of a Netflix show We chat to anyone who’s nearby. We go to the kitchen 100 times. . Even on the best days, it takes superhuman strength to be able to ignore distractions.

There are many temptations around our workplace that can distract us. However, a 2020 remote work survey by BlueJeans revealed that the number one source of distraction isn’t social media or Netflix…

Keep reading to discover the common workplace distractions that may be  affecting your productivity.

1. Workplace noise

When you’re focused on the work that you’re doing, noise can easily jolt you out of your concentration. This is particularly challenging if you’re working-from-home. That’s why it’s important that you look for ways to reduce any noise and distractions in your dedicated workspace.

One simple way you can reduce noise is by wearing noise-canceling headphones when you’re in work mode. This is the simplest method if surrounding noise is out of your control,  And while you’re at it, you can listen to some concentration music too.

If noise cancelling headphones aren’t enough and you’re looking for something more. You can invest in sound proofing. There are plenty of acoustic panels that you can install on your walls to help reduce noise and echoes wherever you’re working.

2. Social media

Social media and its easy accessibility are some of the biggest culprits of workplace distractions.  These platforms have constant content  where one notification can often lead to 20-30 minutes of scrolling at a time.

It’s even more challenging to step away from social media when part of your work revolves around being on the platform. With all these factors in play, it’s difficult to disconnect from social media entirely, even when you’re in the workplace.

Luckily, plenty of solutions will help you avoid going on social media, some can even break the muscle memory that gets you to click on an app without really meaning to

You can install applications that allow you to cut off any websites you don’t want to distract you for a set time. These apps are available for both desktop and mobile access.

When it comes to using mobile social media apps, you could put your phone somewhere inaccessible while you’re  working.

3. Cluttered workspace

Your immediate physical environment affects your mental and physical state. So, it makes sense that a cluttered workspace will harm your productivity.

It’s important to clear out your workspace, specifically your desks, before you start your workday. Make it into a habit to make sure your desk is clean at the end of each workday so you start work with a clear space each morning..

4. Stress

Distraction doesn’t just exist from  external factors. Internal factors can be distracting too..

For example, stress is a common reason to be  distracted.. That’s one of the many reasons why supporting employee mental health is so important.

Companies get wrong when it comes to bettering their employees’ mental health by focusing on band-aid solutions or temporary programs.

You need to make sure employees are offered proper support and know where to find it when they are feeling overwhelmed. This also means really listening to the reasons for employee stress and poor mental health and adjusting policies if necessary.

6. Interruptions

Open offices have increased in popularity sparked by companies like google who suggest an open office encourages collaboration, creativity, openness and fun.

However, as employees don’t have a physical boundary, it can be challenging to figure out when someone needs time to themselves. Thus, interruptions in the middle of work are more common.

It’s important to  find a way to put boundaries between people’s workspaces, or signal when someone needs to focus and doesn’t want interruptions. . The signal can be something as simple as a coloured hat that you wear or a sign that you put on your desk when you want to concentrate and don’t want interruptions.

6. Micromanagement

Although it may not come to front of mind when thinking about workplace distractions, micromanagement can be extremely distracting.

Not only can micromanagement cause constant interruptions to productivity, it can also increase employee stress which is another big workplace distractor as we mentioned already.

About the Author:

Robert Helms is a freelance writer based in New Your City whose mission is to help travelers, hostel owners, and house cleaning NYC companies work together. When not writing, he prefers to spend his day cleaning and organizing his own home.


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