Managing Employee Digital Distractions

Multi media alerts, messages, texts, phone calls, e-mails are constantly bombarding working professionals and interrupting daily workflows. How can we manage our employees and ourselves to concentrate, stay focused on the task at hand?  Optimizing employee and self-efficiency has never been more difficult with large diversity of digital engagers that surround the work environment. While it is easy to say shut it all off and stay focused, that is not typically reality. When forced to put media away, professionals can become increasingly stressed out about missing messages and alerts increasing inefficiency. Gloria Mark of UC Irvine  has shown that workers typically attend to a task for 3 minutes before switching to something else (usually electronic communication) and that it takes 20 minutes to return to the previous task  (Harvard Business Review June 2015).

What is the solution to the digital dilemma? The balance between staying task focused without distraction and fear of mounting messages without media is a fine one. Several feasible options for your practice include having employees have on-off sessions. Audit your employee addiction to digital and set up a digital schedule for them. An overly addicted employee could work 15 minutes on while taking a 2 minute digital break. A more balanced employee could work 2 or 3 hours and then take a digital break.

A second option is managing e-mail more efficiently. Set up filters for e-mails, including news filters, social media filters, and vendor filters, and unsubscribe from unwanted e-mails immediately.  As an employer, manage and audit your network spam filters to make sure junk is not getting through.

If you have additional questions, please email us at info@doughertylaservision.com

Renata Stone, MBA
CEO, Dougherty Laser Vision