What Distractions Are Holding You Back at Work?

Workplace distractions take a huge chunk out of productivity. In fact, a 2018 study by Udemy found that more than half (54 percent) of employees aren’t performing as well as they should because of workplace distractions. They even go so far as to say the standard eight-hour workday basically shrinks to six hours because of this fact. Let’s now highlight some of the most common distractions and how to avoid them.

Noisy Co-Workers

According to Udemy, “Chatty co-workers (80 percent) and office noise (70 percent) were cited as the top distractors overall.” And it’s easy to see why this can be so problematic. Most people naturally require a certain amount of quiet in order to concentrate and perform tasks at a high level. Chronic workplace noise can greatly minimize their concentration to the point that output takes a big hit.

If noise is something that bothers you, ask your boss if you can move to a quieter location, try using noise-cancelling headphones or simply ask your co-workers to lower their voice if possible.


This is something that not only creates distractions but can also create dissension among co-workers. Gossip is also one of the reasons meetings get thrown off track. While this isn’t something you can always directly control, you may want to alert your employer if you feel it’s getting out of hand, and they may be able to implement a policy to curb gossip.


It’s fair to say that many people are addicted to their smartphones. However, the constant urge to use apps or check for notifications can greatly reduce productivity. If this is something you struggle with, try turning off notifications so you’ll be less inclined to check your smartphone, or leave it in a handbag, a drawer or even your car if you have to.

Social Media

This can be just as problematic as smartphones. There’s something incredibly addictive about scrolling through your social media feeds to see what’s happening. Unfortunately, this too can be incredibly distracting and hurt your ability to do your job effectively. Perhaps the best way to combat this problem is to filter which sites you can visit on your computer. Just check out this resource to learn how to do this.

Distractions can take a toll on your productivity and quality of work. Fortunately, the distractions listed here are often preventable. It’s just a matter of taking the necessary steps and having the right discipline to correct these behaviors.

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