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Survey Reveals What’s Killing Productivity Across The UK Amongst Employees


Businesses lose thousands of pounds each year due to unproductive employees, those who are distracted from getting on with their daily tasks set by their employers, and a new survey conducted by Clarendon London has revealed exactly what is causing such behaviour in the workplace.

The company asked 2,000 employed Brits to reveal the biggest cause of distraction for themselves whilst working, that which prevents them from being as productive as would otherwise be the case.

The survey revealed that a significant 20.3% of respondents struggle to stay productive in the office due to colleagues acting as a distraction. This ranges from workplace gossip through to the repeated asking of questions to others. This somewhat ties in with the rise in popularity in recent years of hot desking, where employees aren’t tied to a specific desk or workstation but can ‘float’ around the workplace, often as they see fit, in order to stay productive. Such a way of working allows those who prefer to work on their own to distance themselves from nuisance colleagues.

Coming in as the second most common reason why we’re struggling to stay productive at work, only marginally behind colleagues; mobile phones, with 19.2% citing this as their response. To note here, this is referring to the use of mobile devices to communicate with friends and family members, rather than for work purposes. Mobile phones have been a known problem in many businesses for some years now, with these results further confirming this.

The third most common cause of employees being unproductive and distracted at work is cited by 11.1% as social media; another known problem for employers right across the country. It may seem acceptable for an employee to quickly ‘check their Facebook,’ however across the course of weeks, months and even years, even a few minutes a day can amount to a considerable loss of working time.

Further to this, 10.6% cite personal emails as being the cause of them being less productive than they should be when at work, 8.6% cite clients and customers discussing off-work topics and further to this, 4.5% responded saying the radio is their biggest distraction.

The remaining respondents cited everything from serious to downright ridiculous distractions!

James Brockbank, spokesperson for commented on the survey results, stating,

“It came as a surprise to find that over a fifth of those who responded cite their colleagues as their biggest distraction and cause of underperformance on tasks and duties. Mobile phones and social media perhaps don’t come as so much of a shock, however it goes to show that employers need to take the time and allocate the right resources to ensure that employees don’t bend the rules too much when it comes to talking amongst themselves in work time and the fact that workplace gossip really does exist and can contribute to, over the course of a year, hundreds of working hours lost.”