Four Productivity Killers at Work

What are some of the most significant distractions that you encounter on a typical workday? According to time management figures by, an average worker gets interrupted 50-60 average times per day. Distractions come in different forms whether it is the sound of a swinging door to phone calls and unscheduled meetings. Such interferences can leave us feeling unproductive, creating a vicious cycle of deadline chasing.

Here are four frequent productive killers that occur at work:



In a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review with nearly 200 senior executives from different industries, only 17% reported meetings as productive. Other participants believed that it was a waste of group and individual time. To avoid ineffective meetings, develop a clear objective and purpose, consider who will take part in the meeting and list out what you seek to accomplish.



Although e-mails are a fundamental part of the workplace, they are a form of slow conversation that can easily divert our attention. One of the reasons why e-mails can be distracting is because the sender expects an instant reply from the receiver. E-mails don't necessarily need to be the primary source of communication. For urgent matters, it is better to directly seek out the person to ask or send a message through messenger apps. It is also essential to set guidelines for when to check e-mails and to not reply instantly whenever a notification appears.

Office Noise

Open Office

Are noisy open offices taking a toll on productivity? Office workers are reported to be 66% less productive in open place office due to noise levels than when they are left on their own. Aside from negative impacts on productivity levels, office noises can also affect wellbeing. Research has proven that recurring exposure to loud noises can lead to an increase in long-term stress hormone levels.

Although It is difficult for companies to find a balance between enhancing a collaborative environment with one that can ensure focus, there are various measures that employers can take. Employers can start by creating private working spaces that can respect individual work.

Loud Colleagues 

While it is great to work in an office where it is easy to communicate and to collaborate with other employees, it is undesirable when focused work is required. When handling colleagues that are loud and disruptive, politely request them to lower their voices or wear a pair of noise-canceling earbuds to avoid distractions. In situations where a colleague starts talking to you loudly, set a good example and suggest taking the conversation to a meeting room to prevent disturbing others.

Distractions can occur anywhere in the workplace. It is necessary for employees to combat distractions and manage their time effectively and prioritise their tasks and e-mails in a systematic manner. Employers also need to take measures in preventing noise pollution and facilitate productivity in the workplace.

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