By Jim Wong, CPA | August 30, 2017

It doesn’t matter the industry or the profession, there usually comes a time when professionals experience distractions in the workplace whether from an employee level or a manager/leader perspective. Distractions can come in all shapes and sizes. From actions that contribute to poor morale to too much technology impeding production, there are numerous interruptions that can have a negative effect on a person’s work.

Since distractions are such a common occurrence yet are detrimental to a workplace, it’s important for employers to recognize when they are contributing to these disruptions and offer up ways to mitigate them for their teams. Doing so is sure to work in everyone’s favor in the long run.

I recently came across an article on that speaks to the topic of distractions in the workplace and what managers can do to help alleviate some of those interruptions. I thought I’d share some of their tips along with a few thoughts of my own in the 3 Ways to Overcome Distractions in the Workplace below.

1. Offer flexibility. Sometimes when employers are a little too strict in their ways, their team members can become overstressed and this can hurt their production. For instance, if you know an employee travels far to get into the office each day, consider offering flexible hours or remote working opportunities. As long as a team member is getting the job done—having overly strict policies as a distraction will do them no good.

2. Reward Fairly. No one likes office politics. When it comes to recognition, be sure to base any praise off of hard data. This way, it is clear who deserves to get credit and there are no signs of favoritism. Employees who see the same people get recognized for unknown reasons, are likely to have their morale negatively impacted, and subsequently, their level of productivity. While office politics may not seem like an obvious distraction at first, in the long run it can turn into something much bigger—and not in a good way.

3. Be realistic. While many employers choose to set stretch goals—or goals that are beyond a person’s immediate skillset—they think they are pushing their team members in order to see a big return. However, this can end up backfiring and undermining a person’s performance instead of enhancing it. If you are realistic and transparent with your employees on what is expected of them, and they know that the expectations are attainable, they are likely to reach and surpass those goals more often than not.

What are some other ways to overcome distractions in the workplace? Comment below and let us know!

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