Summer is here! Soon, employers will be making decisions about how their businesses will return to the workplace – or not – as we inch closer to a post-COVID world.
After COVID pushed employees out of their offices and into their homes, we’ve gained new a new wealth of knowledge on the benefits and pitfalls of working from home versus in an office. A new survey conducted by the Mopria Alliance offers insight on how an employee’s work environment affects productivity and how employers can best set their employees up for success.
Employers should consider who their employees are, what distractions exist in their specific working environments, and what solutions they can provide to employees to overcome distractions either at home or in the office. Keep reading for more on what to consider before making decisions on office, remote, and hybrid working!
- Consider Environment Distractions
Overall, the survey shows that employees experience an average of 77 distractions per week or roughly one distraction every 31 minutes. For most workers, these distractions negatively impact work and productivity and increase stress, regardless of whether they are working from home or at their office.
What may be unsurprising to most of us is that the top distractions that both work-from-home and in-office employees face are personal communications such as text or chat, checking personal email or surfing the web, and unplanned conversations.
- Difficulties for Working Parents
The population most affected and thus the most challenged by these workplace distractions are working parents living with children at home. The survey found that working parents face a distraction every 25 minutes during their workday, which is 37% more than their non-parental peers. Specifically, parents that work from home face about 10% more distractions than in-office parents and nearly 50% more distractions than non-parents who are working from home.
Almost half of all parents are consciously working additional hours to compensate for the need to handle more personal and family matters during working hours, which can lead to erosion of work-life balance. This leads to parents feeling less connected and more isolated, less confident about their work, and creates more burnout among peers.
- Unproductive Meetings
Sometimes, even work itself can be considered a distraction. Meetings are a work-related source of distraction that can create stress and challenges for employees, regardless of their location. They also have the ability to generate further distractions.
The survey found that, on average, employees spend 11.1 hours in meetings per week, but nearly half of all meetings are deemed unproductive to an employee’s core tasks. By role, top managers, team managers and IT departments have more meetings and a higher percentage of their meetings are productive. In fact, senior leadership has over two times as many weekly meetings as their support staff. People with fewer meetings tended to have a higher percentage of unproductive meetings.
It is important to realize the potential benefits and downfalls that working environments create for employees. Workplace distractions and the working environment can cause toxic challenges for all employees. Our workplace distractions survey found that 78% of workers believe that the ability to easily print and scan helps them to overcome distractions and 80% of parents would be more productive with printed activities to entertain or educate their kids. This suggests that access to print and scan solutions could help mitigate the effect of toxic distractions and perhaps even help them focus better. Employers can consider technologies such as Mopria’s Print and Scan apps to arm their employees with the tools they need to combat distractions.
With the amount of time and energy being spent working extra hours to make up for distractions, these are important considerations in creating a healthy culture and a healthy business.