How much are common workplace distractions costing UK businesses every year?

In the most recent study carried out by Total Jobs, the UK is on average losing 1 hour and 24 minutes a day on distractions like, tea breaks, social media and just chatting (office banter)

I don’t think anyone would be suggesting there aren’t a couple of times a day when the office ‘takes a break’ but productivity in the UK is being impacted significantly and not just in the lost hours chatting etc, but in the opportunities lost when this time should be spent more productively.

What are the common distractions experienced in an average office:

  • The Internet
  • Gossip
  • Social Media
  • Co-workers dropping by
  • Smoking breaks/Snack breaks

Work-related distractions: emails and meetings, and interestingly sitting in a cubicle.

These are typical of many workplaces and are costing UK businesses billions every year in lost hours, the most recent figures are from 2019 with an estimated cost of £143billion.

The UK is not alone in lacking focus and reduced productivity, we currently rank 4th, with the USA taking the top position, followed by Japan, Germany and then the UK.

A work-based acoustics study found that 69% of employees claimed that noise had a big impact on their concentration levels and this rises to 75% saying that co-workers talking loudly on the phone is the number one distraction.

Have you taken the time out to work out what this is costing your business?

Getting the right people in your organisation at the beginning of their time with your business and setting clear expectations will help improve focus and reduce some of the negative distractions, also working with the right recruiter who can screen candidates and ask probing questions at interview stages can also have a positive impact on productivity.