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Employees struggle with a variety of distractions that tend to affect their ability to focus. Problems with concentration predictably negatively impact their workflow and productivity. Distractions in the workplace can cost about six hours a day for every worker. Over time, employees’ distractions cost businesses a huge amount of hours and money. Fortunately, there are things you can do to reduce this cost. Here are tips to reduce the cost of your employees' distractions.


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1. Focus on Being on Task Rather Than Being Present

Most employers concentrate more on lowering the rate of absenteeism and forget that “presenteeism” can also cost them up to $250 billion a year. Being physically present in the workplace doesn’t mean the employee is doing something constructive. A sick, fatigued, distressed, or distracted employee can cost you so many hours and lots of money over time. Implementing a flexible workplace policy can be a perfect solution for presenteeism at work. For instance, letting employees develop their work schedules can be instrumental in helping them find a perfect work-life balance.


Paid sick leave will also allow employees to stay home and feel better instead of reporting to work when they are certain that they can’t do anything productive. By implementing appropriate technology infrastructure you can offer your team members an opportunity to work from home either entirely or part of the week. In fact, you should emphasize on timely completion of tasks rather than being physically in the workplace daily.


A flexible workplace policy also comes in handy when you want to expand internationally. It helps you deal with time zone differences effectively. Bear in mind that there are different cultures, regulations, and requirements that you must understand and comply with when expanding internationally. That’s why it’s imperative to partner with reputable global PEO services, such as New Horizons Global Partners to help you deal with all the challenges that come with establishing a business abroad.


2. Educate Your Employees On The Best Distraction-Reducing Practices

Enlightening your team members on the best ways to reduce distractions and be more productive in the workplace can go a long way toward reducing your costs. For instance, if you’re running a construction or manufacturing business, you should ensure your employees know about heavy equipment use. Train them to give forklift operators a humble time to do their work. Trying to stop an operator just to have a chitchat can lead to a serious accident.


Some areas of construction and manufacturing businesses tend to be noisy and there’s little that can be done to bring the machinery noise down. Based on the kind of the employee’s job, earplugs can be really helpful in reducing excess noise interruptions and unsafe noise levels. Staff members must use rated earplugs that can reduce the noise without affecting the capability of an employee to hear an alarm or oncoming vehicle. They should also avoid having earplugs on while walking through a construction site or manufacturing plant.


Train your workers on how they can manage their time effectively. For example, have them determine when they’re most active, and then disable all notifications during that period. Also, encourage them to use tracking tools to track the amount of time they’re taking to complete a task and find ways to do the same task more efficiently and quickly. By tracking their time, they’ll also know when to take that much-needed mental break.


3. Limit the Number of Meetings You Hold

Holding regular, compulsory meetings can be counterproductive even if you have a flexible workplace model in place. The purpose of holding meetings should be to come up with new targets for teams, brainstorm new ideas, improve communication, solve conflicts, or find solutions to problems. Holding them every day can negatively affect employee morale.


A study by People Management found that meetings account for around 15 percent of workers’ time in the workplace. Businesses in the U.S. lose up to $37 billion every year through the time they waste on unnecessary meetings. Reducing the number of meetings you host per year can prevent wastage of workers’ and company’s time and significantly improve productivity.


The Bottom Line

As an employer, you need to put more effort into lowering the cost of distractions in the workplace. Whether that entails adopting a more flexible work model, enlightening your employees on the best strategies for reducing distractions, or holding fewer meetings, you need to work closely with your employees to create a work environment that promotes productivity.


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