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Third of workers distracted for 3 hours a day

Chatting with colleagues about non-work related matters, mobile phones and internet services are the biggest workplace distractions, according to Thinkmoney.

Through a survey of 2,000 adults aged over 18, the company found that the worst affected employees find themselves distracted for up to 3 hours every work day. These individuals could be losing up to 60 hours a month or 759 hours a year due to distractions.

Of the people surveyed, the biggest distraction at work was talking to colleagues about a variety of non-work related topics. On the flip-side of this, people conducting loud conversations were named as the biggest annoyance to employees.

The prevalence of smartphones was also listed as a major culprit of workplace distractions, with the majority of respondents admitting to answering personal calls and replying to text messages during work hours.

The biggest distractions in the workplace were:

  • talking in the office about non-work matters
  • slow internet connection 
  • mobile phone calls and texts
  • online shopping
  • pointless or arbitrary meetings 
  • social media 
  • emailing non-work individuals or groups
  • looking out the window
  • offices being too hot or too cold
  • uncomfortable chairs.

Ian Williams, Thinkmoney's spokesperson, said:

"The internet can be a major time drain with so many ways to while away hours. Often, it's not simply a case of one burst of text messaging or internet surfing, there can be a constant stream of dipping back in and out, so concentration is interrupted throughout the day.

"Chatting to colleagues and having some banter can create a positive and productive workplace where teams work well together. Workers just need to be careful that this doesn't tip over into becoming an annoyance for others."

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