How much of your time is lost through constant interruptions? For the average person it’s up to a quarter of the day. And as disruptive as the interruptions themselves are, it can be even more difficult to refocus on work and make up for lost time. Time then to interrupt the interruptions. Today’s smarter tech provides the effortless connectivity, functionality and flexibility that allows your new-gen workforce to be more productive and get time back on their side.
‘Did you update the spreadsheet I sent?’ ‘Are you joining our call, it’s now?’ ‘Can you just remind me when you’re on leave next?’ ‘Could you take this HR survey, it won’t take a minute’ (even though the person asking knew it was designed to take twenty). Such are the typical interruptions that will flow through your day. Inevitably, they’ll come at the worst possible moment just as you’re deep into some complex piece of work.
It’s even more complicated in current times with the massive rise in remote working. Domestic chores, unexpected (and expected) deliveries, bored children, something interesting happening outside the window — the distractions are endless.
All these interruptions add up. However slight the demand on your time from each one, there is a much bigger knock-on effect.
In fact, you lose, on average, up to 25% of your working day through unscheduled events1.
To refocus on your work after just one interruption can take up to 23 minutes, according to the same research.
Making up lost time, loses more
Conscientious workers will try and make up for the time lost, say researchers, which creates other difficulties. As people expect interruptions they change the way they work – and not for the better. Workers will work faster, throughout the day, to compensate for the time they expect to lose through interruptions. As a result, the quality of work is poorer. The increased time pressure and effort in working faster, become a stress and a frustration2, leaving 41% of distracted employees feeling unmotivated3.
We also distract ourselves by trying to multitask. In fact, we typically switch tasks every three minutes2. But this attempt to keep everything going at the same time ends with a 40% drop in productivity across the board4.
Focus on user well-being
So how do you empower your people to give their work the full attention that it requires?
In the workplace, wherever that may be, there are changes that can help. You should make sure users have a quiet area for focus, can sit where there’s good lighting and have easy access, if possible, to an outdoor space for work and relaxation.
It’s also important to show your people that you are willing to invest in technology that will help their well-being.
That includes incorporating what cognitive scientists call behavioural nudges. These encourage people to adopt healthier practices. So, for example, this might, paradoxically, include planned disruptions, such as reminders for people to take a break. AI technology can also help prioritise tasks, such as only notifying people about urgent messages or mails.
Tech to fit the new work-style
Taking a more user-centric approach also means introducing smarter tech to suit the new workstyle.
With modern innovations, users have tech that’s always ready when they need it.
The new breed of mobile devices make collaboration simple: there are dedicated hot-keys for VoIP calls plus crystal-clear and bright, sound and vision quality.
There’s no messing with connections. Near-instant connectivity means users can work virtually anywhere and feel others are right there with them.
They can power through work, thanks to the latest processors.
Long battery life and rapid charging means users can work without interruption and without the self-imposed restraint of worrying about preserving the battery charge.
Modern standby means a laptop can wake in less than half a second. That’s if, it needs to wake. Users can download emails and listen to music even when the laptop’s sleeping.
The revolutionary Lenovo ThinkBook Plus goes further. It has dual displays, including one on the cover that lets people see, review and annotate files, without opening the lid. So they can work more productively without being distracted by everything else.
These are just a few of the many time-saving features, designed to suit the way your people work. They now have the effortless connectivity, functionality and flexibility to do their jobs well. As a result, they’ll feel good about what they have achieved and can get time on their side, again.
1 University of California, Irvine study
2 The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress, UCI
4 The Muse, “The Surprisingly High Cost of Multitasking,” Sarah Chang, https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-surprisingly-high-cost-of-multitaski…