Are Employees Bored or Distracted?

By on February 21, 2019

Are your employees distracted or bored? Both lead to underperformance and hurt your bottom line, but it is important to understand the difference so you know how to address each issue. In this two-part blog series, we will show you how to combat these issues. First, we are going to talk about distracted workers.

Between office noise and smartphones, keeping today’s employees focused on their work is more challenging than ever before. According to an Udemy survey, nearly 3 out of 4 workers (70 percent) admit they feel distracted when they’re on the job, with 16 percent asserting that they’re almost always distracted.

Employees are distracted every 11 minutes on average, but it takes them 25 minutes to get back to the task at hand for every distraction. That’s a lot of time wasted on other things besides work. Below are some ideas to help keep employees focused.


  1. Set expectations upfront – this starts at the hiring phase. Make sure to explain to candidates what the expectations for the role will be and how you will measure success.
  2. Make priorities clear – each employee should know exactly what the expectations are for his/her role and how they fit within the organization. This will help employees stay focused on those tasks and cause less distraction.
  3. Recognition is important – recognize and celebrate your employees’ successes. This will help reinforce good behavior.
  4. Take breaks – often times when an employee takes a glance at their phone it’s because they need a break. So to help them from getting lost down an Instagram rabbit hole, encourage them to take periodic breaks. This might even mean just standing up or moving around for a few minutes.
  5. Train employees – give employees training on how to improve their focus and time management skills.

While these are some good ways to help general distraction, there are also more specific ways to alleviate distraction. For example, scheduling a day a week designated as “no meeting” days if meetings are too distracting if your role permits this. Take a look at the specific distractions that are plaguing your workplace and put together an action plan to combat them.

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