Top 5 Distractions in the Office and How to Tackle Them

With creative offices rising in popularity and office design trends moving towards collaborative spaces, the potential to become distracted in the workplace is increasing. Distraction leads to inhibited productivity, therefore less quality work is executed throughout the day – and a destructive cycle if left untreated! Thankfully, it’s easy to combat office distractions by taking the time to identify each one and implement solutions.

A survey in 2015 by Professor Stephen Westland at the University of Leeds identified the top 5 distractions in the UK office resulting in a cumulative loss of £250m each year:

1. Loud Talkers
With rising costs for office space, its not uncommon for offices to be smaller and employees to be sat closer to one another. Colleagues will converse, answer phone calls and discuss work arrangements and no matter the level of voice, its easy to overhear and become distracted.
Office partitions are an effective way to create divides between workstations or set up meeting rooms. Glass office partitions offer a level of noise cancellation without feeling cut off from the office and are re-locatable should the need arise.


2. The Phone
Loud ringtones and raised voices on the phone are unpredictable and difficult to mediate.

If the office consists of a sales or administrative department that are likely to be on the phone throughout the day, consider the benefits of glass office partitions to reduce distractions for coworkers that need quiet zones, or vice versa.

3. Unnecessary Meetings
Ever had a meeting about a meeting? Sometimes it can feel like there’s more time spent in meetings than there is executing the work.

Decide on a fixed day and time each week to discuss the working week and analyse what meetings are truly necessary. There are many instant messaging platforms available which provide minimal distractions to other employees whilst enabling productive discussions to take place. Why not consider an entirely separate meeting room for the most productive meetings? Office partitions are a cost effective and noise-minimising way to create a meeting room for employees to go when a discussion is needed.

Office communication

4. Emails
Almost a quarter of those surveyed interrupted a task every 22 minutes to check their emails.

If possible, turn off email notifications until you’ve finished the task at hand. Set times throughout the day to check email and sort them according to priority.

5. Making Tea
Tea is important, but there’s no denying the amount of time it takes to make a round, especially in a large office with 10+ cups to make.

However, there is a solution to keep the tea and productivity levels topped up! It’s estimated that people can work for up to 90 minutes productively before needing a break. Organise a weekly tea rota or schedule mini breaks in throughout the day as tea time, so that no one is distracted by the introduction of a warm brew. Alternatively, a hot water boiler reduces the time to make it!

If your office has succumbed to distractions and decreased levels of productivity, consider office partitions as your solution. For more details on how to integrate office partitions for a distraction free workplace, please give us a call on 01202 577 776 or email