Whether you’re an employee or an employer, take a look at just one hour of your day. How many times are you distracted from the task at hand? What distracts you? Is it Facebook? Pinterest? Personal emails, game scores, the phone ringing or a text message coming through? It may even be conversation amongst fellow employees.
We live in a very digital world, and it’s often too easy to get distracted by the many means of communication surrounding us. Sometimes the urge to check the status of something irrelevant to work is just unbearable.
This past year Salary.com surveyed 3200 professionals about their distractions at work and 64 percent said they visit non-work related websites every day during their working hours. As an employer, where do you draw the line? 21 percent of the professionals surveyed said they spend 2-5 hours per week on these sites.
Many of us don’t want to play “bad cop” and police every move our employee is making on the clock. Larger companies often monitor employee internet use through their IT department, and internet policies should be specifically outlined within each employee handbook, but for the smaller business without an official IT department or an internal HR team to review policies, cracking down can be difficult.
HR Shield recommends a two-step quick and easy approach:
First, schedule a meeting to address all employees without singling out any one department or employee. Review your current employee handbook and all policies surrounding internet use. (If you do not currently have an employee handbook, contact HR Shield today, our memberships include free employee handbook creation). Let this meeting serve as a “free warning” and a reminder of why it’s important to the Company to work more effectively and efficiently.
Offer Tips For Focusing (some suggestions below):
- Work in time blocks. If you find yourself being pulled in a dozen directions, it is better to segment your work into small manageable pieces. Select time frames and deadlines to accomplish certain tasks.
- Reward yourself for accomplishing the task at hand. It may not be against the company policy to visit Facebook or check your personal email account – but don’t do so until your work is complete.
- Write out a daily task list for the day. Believe it or not, there’s a small sense of reward in crossing off each item for the day.
- Go incognito. Too many distractions? Sign off messenger, close down your email, and put your phone on silent for an hour or two.
- Do not check personal email or messages in the morning – saving them for the afternoon will allow you to focus on work for the morning and not get distracted by replies or ongoing threads.
Gauge the effectiveness over several weeks. If the workplace still appears to be suffering from workplace distractions, employee performance reviews and documentation of incidents may be necessary.
Questions about employee handbooks, workplace distractions, performance reviews or the monitoring of internet use? Contact an HR Shield Advisor today for more information! Call (877) 636-9525.