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To boost productivity teach workers to limit distractions

Companies can help their employees improve productivity by creating employee incentive programs based around eliminating distractions.

When businesses seek to improve worker productivity they often focus on refining procedures and practices to bolster efficiency. Matrices are set up to measure the increase in parts produced, projects completed or customers served. During this process, attention is paid to helping employees complete more assignments – however, a recent survey from Apex Performance suggests that companies should also be concerned with minimizing distractions.

The modern office worker is routinely pelted with emails, phone calls, text messages and other electronic communications that can distract them from their work. Businesses hoping to increase productivity could focus on helping worker minimize their distractions and improve concentration. Employees check email up to 11 times a day, and while this may seem necessary to improve coordination on project, one-third of those surveyed stated they check email every time they receive a notification.

"No one has taught them how to stay focused, so they don't realize what they are sacrificing," said Louis S. Csoka, president of Apex Performance. "Employees need to learn how to get back on task and stay productive despite the inevitable bell, pop-up window or phone call."

Once distracted it can take employees up to 15 minutes to return to the previous task, as they now have a new issue to cope with. Companies can help their employees improve productivity by creating employee incentive programs based around eliminating distractions. Encouraging workers to set specific time periods for checking and responding to emails could let them work uninterrupted on important tasks.

These initiatives can be tied with other reward programs based on productivity metrics to show the value of limiting distractions. Employees that are recognized for being able to increase their efficiency could inspire others to adopt similar practices and eliminate distractions from their own workday.

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