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Workplace Distractions: Are Emails Costing your Business?

As with any business, you want to make money. But how can you increase your profits?

There are three basic answers; sell more, cut costs or improve work efficiency. We’ll help your cut costs where we can (through your marketing strategy). We can definitely help increase your sales, follow the link to find out how. But right now, we’re going learn how to improve your workplace efficiency.

Last week we published an article highlighting the importance of reducing distractions in the workplace. If you read it, you would’ve learnt that every minute one of your employees is distracted they lose 15 minutes of disrupted productivity. A cost no business can afford.

This week we’re going to talk about a major distraction that you may be familiar with… Emails!

The distraction of Emails!

If you think about it, you’ll soon realise just how distracting emails are. How often do you receive an email asking you to complete a small job, one that will only take 5 minutes?

Well maybe it would if that’s all you had to do, but first you need to complete an array of small tasks before you can even start it. And all of these little tasks, formatting the report, including the latest week’s figures, or even just finding your client’s latest contact figures, they all add up. Before you know it 15 minutes have passed and you’ve lost all momentum from your previous work.

Don’t worry, you’re not alone. An estimated 28% of an office employee’s working day is spent reading, managing and responding to emails.

Beyond that, they’re seen as the second worse distraction in the office with 18% of people agreeing, according to research by Lee Hecht Harrison.

Notifications make things worseEmail pop-up to distract while working

Emails are a big enough distraction on their own, without notifications popping up every 5 minutes.

Have you ever been working on a report or proposal, that’s taken forever to get into, when a notification flashes across your screen? You’ve got mail!

You try to ignore it and continue working but you can’t resist for long. Who is it? What do they want? Is it important? More often than not it’s just spam, but what if it isn’t?

Once that notification flashes up, you’re distracted. Maybe not massively, but it’s there in the back of your mind making it difficult to be completely focused on the task at hand. And there it remains until you give in.

What can you do about it?

Obviously, we’re not suggesting that you get rid of emails. They’re, most likely, essential for your business. But that doesn’t mean you can’t manage the affect they have on your employee’s productivity.

A simple management process is sweeping the nation, defeating the distraction that is the email and saving UK businesses millions in lost productivity. It’s so simple that you’re going to kick yourself for not considering it.

Turn off your email system! This might not work for everyone in your business. The sales and customer service teams, for example, need to respond to enquiries instantly. But for most of your employees, emails can be put on hold for a few hours.

Only check your emails at specific times during the day, 2 or 3 times a day. That’s the ‘scientifically’ suggested number of times you should check them to keep distractions down without sacrificing opportunities.

You can also set up an automatic response, informing people that you’re busy and will respond later in the day. You can also include a note saying that, in the case of urgency, you can still be reached by phone. So if anything important does come up, you won’t risk missing an opportunity.

We recommend doing this if you have some urgent and pressing work to complete and don’t need the distractions.

Remember, you’re not the only one facing this challenge, almost everyone in your office gets distracted by emails. This means your company may be needlessly losing hundreds, if not thousands, of pounds in lost productivity. And you have the power to stop this.

Don’t let your employee’s productivity be disrupted by emails when you have the power to prevent it. Use our tips to keep your profits up.

Don’t forget to return next week as we unveil the UK’s biggest office distraction, and how you can keep it from costing your business.


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