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Reducing Distractions in an Open Office

6 Tips for Reducing Distractions in an Open Office

Posted on: September 27, 2016

Reducing distractions in an open office is crucial to productivity. About 70 percent of US companies have adopted an open office. The benefit of having an  open office is that it maximizes space while keeping down costs, but the amount of distractions employees encounter could hurt productivity. To get the most out of your workday, try of few of these tips to eliminate distractions in your open office.

Here are 6 Tips for Reducing Distractions in an Open Office

TURN OFF EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS

E-mail notifications are a major source of interruption and are distracting for many employees. Turn off notifications, and limit yourself to checking your e-mail only once or twice an hour. If you really need to be focused, use an out of office reply.  Clients/coworkers can call you if it is urgent and you can stay focused on the task at hand.

NOISE CANCELLING HEADPHONES

Noise cancelling headphones have become a must-have in office accessories.  By wearing noise cancelling headphones, not only will you indicate to your coworkers that you are busy and don’t want to be interrupted, but it will eliminate the distracting background noise in the office.

DO NOT DISTURB

If you left your noise cancelling headphones at home, you can simply place a do not disturb sign on your desk, on your chair, or wherever others will see it. If you are clear to your co-workers that you don’t want to be disturbed, they will respect that.  

MASK THE SOUND BY INCREASING BACKGROUND NOISE

This one may sound a little funny, you need to increase noise to eliminate it?  It actually works.  White noise (like a small fan running at your desk), makes conversations sound unintelligible to the listener, so you will easily be able to tune them out. This combined with a Do Not Disturb sign should really help you get things accomplished without interruptions or distractions.

WORK AT NON-PEAK TIMES

One of the best ways to work in a quiet office is to do it when most people aren’t at work.  Whether you come in early or stay after the day is finished, with fewer people, you will have peace and quiet in your workspace.

QUIET ZONES

Most companies who have an open office, have incorporated areas that are quiet zones.  Take advantage of these spaces to get focused work completed. They make it clear to those around you that you have an important task to be completed and do not want to be interrupted.  

While there are many benefits to an open office, a recent study suggests that distractions have the potential to cause 86 minutes of lost productivity a day. Taking a few measures to eliminate distractions throughout your work day is important to achieve a productive, positive office environment.

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