Work-hours flexibility is not the only problem threatening employee productivity and efficiency in the work environment; 59.3% of employees in the region believe that distraction in the workplace is a “major problem.”
This is the conclusion of a survey on the top distractions in the workplace in the Middle East and North Africa, conducted by Bayt.com between October 27th and November 20th. 6,704 people were surveyed from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Algeria, Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia.
The use of social media was found to be the main culprit, by itself accounting for 25% of lost productivity. After social media, talking to colleagues (18%), checking online news websites, working on matters that are not linked to current tasks, and exchanging e-mails and instant messages all served to distract the region’s employees. Twenty-two percent of those surveyed said they were affected by all of these distractions combined.
Employees were also asked about their suggestions for a more productive work environment. A more professional work environment was found to be the answer by 30% of those surveyed, 23% suggested a better work / life balance, and 21% thought that a more competitive work environment will eventually eliminate distractions.
The following suggestions can help entrepreneurs and executives alike eliminate distractions at their workplaces and increase productivity:
A good night's sleep: 67% of employees say they feel focused at work due to proper rest the night before.
Organizing work tasks: 4 out of 10 employees in the region organize their daily work tasks every morning; employees can be even more productive by organizing their work farther in advance.
Making lists: To-do lists help employees divide work tasks into small, achievable bits.
Taking a break: 59% of employees in the region do not get enough breaks from work. Breaks can increase employees’ concentration, limiting distraction.
Long-term goals: Employees should be evaluated based on their long-term achievements and work efficiency, rather than their adeptness at accomplishing short-term tasks.