Distractions in the workplace

Employee time is expensive. Let your office help make everyone more productive.

Distractions

Problem-solving is at the core of our work life. Applying critical thinking to decipher practical problems is perhaps our most distinctive human attribute. Research widely confirms that collaborative problem solving, where individuals with different backgrounds exchange information, ideas and perspectives, speeds up innovation2.

Organisations spend lots of resources to improve employee productivity in order to stay ahead of the competition, sometimes overlooking what’s happening in the space where the magic happens.

Noise, distractions, and interruptions present big challenges in every workplace, especially in our era of open layouts, shared spaces, and no receptionists. Costly challenges.

Focus

The guys from MonkeyUser did a great job illustrating this. Frequent, poorly-timed questions lead to context switching, which leads to errors — and annoyance. To tackle this challenge, what works for us is a combination of communication guidelines and headphone etiquette. The latter is a simple premise: if someone is wearing headphones, it’s signalling an unwillingness to be distracted. When it comes to communication, everyone needs to agree on a common approach based on the tools of choice and the expectations each conveys. For example, while emails are generally not meant for urgencies, chat often implies the need for a quicker response. There’s a whole lot that can be said to this end, it’s ultimately up to each team to define the rules they want to communicate by.

Yet at Niro, we believe there’s another type of interruption that is more worrisome.

If there is no front desk to greet incoming visitors, there is a big chance that said responsibility falls always on the same person, or whoever sits closer to the door or the unfortunate soul walking past. Or in open spaces, all of the above, which translates to interruptions… a lot of them. It’s not just prospects and customers we fail to greet — and that experience will trump all your investment in customer experience; it’s interviewees, deliveries, and wanderers.

This situation also poses a big security risk, especially if the building where your workspace is located doesn’t have any type of security. Or worse, if it has an old security setup and no UPS.

The good news is you do have room for action here.

All you need is IP cameras, which may already be installed in your office. Powered up by our Niro Hub, our app can alert you every time someone walks through the door. And by you, we mean alerts can be routed to any device of your preference, to anyone you appoint, through any platform. Maybe you want a notification on a dedicated Slack channel during working hours but a phone call to your management team after hours. Maybe you want push notification alerts for deliveries, but email alerts for anything else.

Monitor

Or maybe you want to set up a monitor wall openly displayed like we did, to decide what to do on the spot. Beauty lies in our open, accessible and integrable platform.

Employing Artificial Intelligence to do the triage means you choose how to route incoming visitors and let machines handle the noise — they are way better at multitasking that we are.

We’ve all struggled to work in spaces where the surroundings are out of sync with us; improvements on this area, no matter how small, have a direct impact on employee happiness, business agility, and everyone’s safety.