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Companies battle employee distraction

Firms are using employee reward programs to fight all types of challenges, including the growing distractions that are hampering worker productivity.

Firms are using employee reward programs to fight all types of challenges, including the growing distractions that are hampering worker productivity.

A recent article from The Wall Street Journal points out how the proliferation of devices and social networks is reducing staff members' ability to focus, and it's partly employers' fault, as firms continue to promote new technologies as a way to do more with less.

In fact, Gloria Mark, a professor of informatics at the University of California, Irvine, told the newspaper that office workers are interrupted or self-interrupt nearly every three minutes.

Businesses are looking at a number of ways to improve focus, such as limiting emails and the number of projects employees are tasked with. One company even decided to encourage staff members to use the phone more and send emails only for items that aren't pressing.

Strategies to address this distraction appear even more pressing when considered in terms of how much it can cost firms monetarily. A survey from harmon.ie and uSamp found interruptions can cost companies with 1,000 or more workers approximately $10,790 a year per employee. 

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