Technology changes constantly. Tools of convenience (like smartphones) make our lives easier, helping us stay connected to world and each other. However, they make it incredibly difficult to unplug during work hours. The way you manage the use of technology during work hours, coupled with the culture and environment in your office, can either hinder or improve the productivity of your staff. Here’s what you need to consider to keep your employees on their toes and focused on their work.

It’s OK to be lighthearted within the confines of your office and maintain a fun atmosphere. But if you’ve noticed the fun getting out of hand and cutting into productivity, you may want to take steps to keep things under control. Following are the top five distractions that can threaten the focus of your workers:

  1. Cell phones. They allow us to tap into any information we want, all day long, from anywhere. But the temptation to grab a cell phone and spend a few seconds browsing articles, answering texts or using apps can be too great for many of us. For this reason, it can help to nip temptation in the bud with a “no cell phones during work” policy, allowing your staff to use cell phones only during break times.
  2. Social media and the internet. What’s the weather like for the next few days? What’s the score from last night’s game? Which celebrities have just broken up? What’s everyone doing this Friday night? Questions like these can be easily answered with a quick glance to social media or popular internet sites. As convenient as it is distracting, online usage can quickly derail even the most conscientious of employees. To avoid this, many companies block access to sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, ESPN, People, etc.
  3. Excessive meetings. Gathering employees together to discuss an upcoming project is often necessary. And technology allows us to have meetings by phone or video conference—a convenience for big companies with staff in multiple office locations. But with this convenience comes the ability to schedule meetings for everything and overbook employees, who can spend more time talking about work than actually doing it. To avoid this, encourage your staff to be mindful about meetings, and make efforts to ensure only employees vital to the project or topic are invited
  4. Unclear job responsibilities. Not fully understanding the task at hand can hinder employee productivity. This creates not just confusion, but stress, mistakes, re-work, double work, decreased productivity and also decreased job satisfaction. Luckily, this situation is easily remedied through clear instructions to employees at the beginning of every assignment, and an open-door policy for questions.
  5. Too much chatter. While you don’t want to run your company as a stiff, uncompromising place to work, you also must keep noise under control. Chatty co-workers can be distracting and detrimental to those around them. It’s usually best to ask your employees to keep socializing to break time and in areas such as break rooms or the cafeteria.

In need of new workers?

You can increase productivity even further by maintaining adequate staffing levels. If you’re growing or have recently experienced turnover, check out McGrath Systems. We’ll work with you to find and place the staff you need for IT, human resources, engineering, light industrial and administration. To learn more about our available staffing services, contact us today!

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