Ronn Torossian On Managing Through Eliminating Distractions

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Distractions are not always bad in the workforce, sometimes they allow your people to take a deep breath, refocus, and come at a problem with renewed energy and a new approach (and for those of us in Public Relations there’s always something new.). But too many distractions often mean that work is not being done or completed on a timely basis.

Some social interaction among employees allows for bonding and sharing of ideas, but sometimes it can turn into wasting the better part of a day in chit chat for more than one of your employees. Some of the approaches decided upon by you should factor the different people in your workspace and how they are situated to each other.

Where some people function best with a lot of things happening around them, others need a quiet space. So your workspace may need options. A place or two where an employee can go and work on their own with the door closed. The more open the rest of the office is, the more you’ll need those closed off options too.

If your company works best with a lot of interaction, then as the manager or employer, you need to establish goals and deadlines that need to be met. As long as those happen on time and with great results, let them be. But consider asking more from them if they meet goals easily, give them bigger and faster challenges. When they meet those new challenges, what will you do to reward their efforts?

Some things to try if there are too many distractions happening in your office:

· Have a set time daily when you turn off notifications, phones, etc. so it is quiet for an hour or so and during that time everyone works quietly at their work stations.

· Take time for 30–60 minutes before lunch to answer phone calls and emails.

· Have noise cancelling headphones available for workers.

· Encourage uncluttered desktops.

· Know what needs to be accomplished during that day.

· Encourage health and wellness habits.

· Complete portions of a goal and then get up and move or socialize for a few minutes.

Distractions need to be controlled in the office, but not all distractions are bad. Some actually allow for better workflow and teambuilding. Learning to manage the possibilities will serve you, your company, and your employees well. Goals will be reached more easily, and job satisfaction will increase. That means less time wasted in training new employees because the ones you have don’t want to look for something better.

Ronn Torossian is CEO of 5WPR.

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