Distracted workers cost businesses millions yearly


UK workers distracted for 70 days a year because of office gossips and loud typers

Businesses are losing £250 million a year as employees are distracted by heavy email traffic, loud talkers and office gossips. However, technology is changing the way people work and increasing communication, a new study has shown.

Workers are unproductive for 70 days of the year, with respondents admitting they only feel like they have actually achieved something on an average of 3.6 days a week. Almost a quarter (22%) claim they interrupt their workflow every 22 minutes to check their emails and over a third of workers (38%) admitting they check at least every 15 minutes, according to the Ahead of the Curve Report, conducted by OnePoll for Samsung Electronics UK in partnership with the University of Leeds.

The top seven office distractions are: loud talkers (57%); the phone ringing (39%); unnecessary meetings (26%); constant stream of emails (22%); making tea rounds (18%); office gossips (16%); and people typing loudly (12%).

The report also uncovered the extent to which technology is transforming the workplace and working habits. The average worker now uses two or three different devices at work, with 10% of respondents admitting they have as many as five or six. This reveals just how much today’s workers rely on having multiple screens to communicate and view information, Samsung claimed.

Likewise, over a quarter (28%) of workers now have two screens attached to their desktop, and 38% have more than two screens attached to their PC.  Interestingly, over half (54%) of respondents say good looking technology is important, yet 38% are dissatisfied with the technology they have in the office.

When it comes to working from home, 22% of people who spend some of their time working in a company office find working from the comfort of their sofa makes them more productive. Nearly a third of people who regularly or always work from home (32%) have a dedicated workspace and 21% even get ‘dressed’ for a day at work.

Despite this, 86% still confess they get side-tracked when working at home, with the main distractions noted as people they live with (36%), housework (36%), the TV (27%), and pets (15%).

Graham Long, vice president of Samsung’s enterprise business team commented: “£250 million is a big loss to the UK economy so it’s important that businesses recognise that having the right mix of technology in the workplace and fully enabling mobile working can positively impact employee productivity and engagement. Today’s workplace is an ‘always on’ environment and as workers, we are more distracted, and more connected, than ever before.”

The research has formed the basis of a report exploring how a more visually immersive experience can improve productivity, which has been developed by Samsung in partnership with Stephen Westland, Professor of colour science, University of Leeds.


About Author

Comments are closed.