How to Cut Down on Workplace Distractions


Do you know that employees waste 759 hours every year due to distractions? This huge number of hours lost could have been spent on more productive tasks and could have yielded better results for the improvement of the company. Instead, these hours are wasted because of distractions.
How can you eliminate distractions at work and make sure that everyone is being productive? Here are some common distractions at work and how to eliminate them:

Cell Phones

Nowadays, the use of mobile phones has increased significantly. We can pretty much do everything on our phones–from getting access to any information, to tracking our friends and family, and sharing our lives on social media. We all have the compulsion to check our phones every 5 minutes.


To avoid mobile phones from distracting our work, it’s better if you turn it off or put it on silent mode. This way, you won’t get distracted every time it rings. Or, if you need your phone for some work-related emails or phone calls, you can turn off your mobile data so that you won’t get tempted to check your Facebook or Instagram page every now and then.

The Internet

Our lives are so much better now thanks to the Internet. Because information is so much easier to access, you can pretty much learn and do as much as you can. On the other hand, internet is also a reason why we don’t hit our maximum productivity at work. With it being so accessible, you can search non-work-related things all day if you wanted to.


It’s obvious that you need internet at work and you can’t possibly turn it off. Using applications that will limit your internet uses though is a smart move to avoid being distracted. Apps such as Nanny for Google Chrome, StayFocusd, Strict Workflow or RescueTime are great tools to keep you focused and from spending too much of your work time looking up photos of things that interest you on the internet.


People gossip for a lot of reasons–from wanting to feel superior, to simply wanting to kill time. Regardless of why people are fond of gossiping, it’s happening everywhere. Your workplace is one of those places where gossip has become a part of everyday routine. Aside from the fact that gossip will never result in something good, it’s a tool for misunderstanding and broken relationships.

How to avoid gossip at work? Make sure that everyone is busy with their tasks and not just killing time doing repetitive work. By using automation tools, skills and productivity are maximized, hence eliminating time for unnecessary talk.

Social Media

Almost every one of us don’t go a complete day without using social media. Thanks to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc., we get to be updated with the current world trends and get in touch with our loved ones despite the distance apart.


Unfortunately, most of us are guilty of browsing through social media during office hours. A few minutes clicking here and there can accumulate to hours spent unproductive. Try and check social media on your break time. Don’t add social media sites on your favorites, and turn off notifications to avoid distractions.

Bottomless Inbox

We receive tons of emails every day and it can take much of our time if we don’t know how to manage them properly. Instead of going through your inbox every time a new email pops in, allocate a specific time every day to deal with your emails. You can have the first 30 minutes of your day checking on emails, then do it again 4 hours later. This way, you won’t get distracted when a new email arrives.


You can also create email rules to ensure that you don’t miss out on important emails. Lastly, by limiting the emails that you send, you also limit the number of emails that you receive. You can send the email directly to a coworker instead of CC’ing all departments.

Overly Chatty Coworkers

While it’s important to build good relationship with your coworkers, spending too much time chatting can affect not just your productivity, but also your perception as an employee. If you have an overly chatty coworker who keeps on bothering you, there’s something you can do about it. You can show an initial interest then politely inform him/her that you are busy and needs to focus on work. If the coworker is very persistent, you can report this to your manager at the last resort.

Boring Work

A lot of employees get bored easily if they’re doing a task they don’t really like. This includes doing invoices, inventory, audits, and more. One way to change this is to automate all of the repetitive and tedious tasks.


Although this is a lot of work, it can give your employees more time to do the work they actually like about their jobs. Switching to inventory software or AP audit software can save your company time and money in the long run. Your employees are less likely to make mistakes because the software will do the work for them.

Unnecessary Meetings

Meetings are important, however if your holding a meeting just for the sake of having a meeting, it wastes time and resources. Set time limits and topics to be discussed during the meeting. This way, the meeting doesn’t go out of hand with everyone throwing in topics that are not necessary. By eliminating distractions at work, you reach the optimum performance of each employee and deliver greater productivity results.

Make Effective Changes

If you notice things slipping through the cracks–speak with your team about what’s going on. Most of the time, it’s an easy fix. Your employee may just need to step away from a project to be reinspired if things aren’t going the way they want.


Consider automating certain boring tasks to give your employees more time to do the work they want. It may take time to make these changes, but by getting your team involved in the process will make things much easier.