I’ve seen quite a few articles lately about employees being distracted at work. And it’s more than the usual one-day “Superbowl Monday” -type distractions. Last year, we published an infographic on HR Bartender about the different types of distractions. Some of them are actually welcome. I know that “Neko Atsume” is a welcome distraction for me.
If you think about it, when the internet went mainstream, businesses talked about employee distractions. And when social media went mainstream, there was more talk about workplace distractions. But now, we’re hearing about how “Politics is Killing Workplace Productivity”.
I will admit, there have been a couple of moments where politics has kept me glued to the television screen too. But I do realize that we can’t let distractions get the best of us.
In the U.S., I’ve seen both Democrats and Republicans frustrated about what’s happening in Washington. I’ve also seen friends in the U.K. frustrated about Brexit. A little frustration is okay. I ran across this article titled “How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind”. While the article deals with the frustration of our current President, I found that the advice could be applied to multiple situations. The third point was particularly important, “You don’t have to suffer to make a difference.”
You also can’t make the difference you want if you don’t take care of yourself. Getting the right amount of rest, eating well, and taking moments to enjoy life are essential. Also, I remain fascinated by mindfulness and wonder if it would help with distractions. It’s been known to improve our leadership skills and help us communicate with others.
If employees are distracted, I believe organizations need to help them deal with distractions. Simply saying, “Focus!” or “Get to work!” isn’t going to cut it. That’s dealing with symptoms. Train employees on the best way to work with distractions, and no matter what the distraction is, they will be able to manage it.
Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby while wandering the Wynwood District in Miami, FL