Ontivity Resources

WORK DISTRACTIONS

New Braunfels, TX, December 6, 2023

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We have hosted several topics this year discussing the importance of job planning and execution. However, we want to take this time to educate everyone on distractions and their impact on our daily operations. This specific topic was requested internally, but to be honest, I was not up to date on the statistics. Over the last week, I read several case studies and even had to take a hard look at my daily routines and experience. It was a little shocking to read the facts and then examine my personal work life. Several studies show that the average person only manages to squeeze in about 3 hours of focused work each day due to distractions. Mind-blowing!

As we discuss work distractions, we are going to break this morning’s topic into three areas.

  • FACTS ABOUT DISTRACTIONS AND THEIR IMPACT ON US.
  • SMARTPHONES AND THEIR APPS.
  • WAYS TO HELP US MITIGATE DISTRACTIONS.

UNDERSTANDING HOW DISTRACTIONS IMPACT US.

Today, we’re bringing you insightful workplace distraction statistics. I have learned there are two types of distractions: Internal and External. Internal distractions come from your own mind. Examples include fatigue, illness, personal worries, and even daydreaming about something you would rather be doing than work. External distractions come from outside sources like your music, emails, text messages, social media, and background noise. Simply put, these distractions lead to productivity loss. Studies show that 79% of workers feel distracted in their workday. If you’re looking to put a price tag on this productivity loss, the average numbers are already there — reports show that American businesses lose as much as $650 billion per year due to workplace distractions. The best way to avoid being injured in your workplace is to pay attention to your job activities and the actions of people, vehicles, and machinery around you while you are on the job. Don’t give in to the temptation offered by social media and other digital content.

SMARTPHONES AND THEIR POTENTIAL FOR DISTRACTION

What is the most common distraction in the work environment? The biggest workplace distraction is your phone, and research confirms this. 55% of people believe their cell phone is their largest distractor. Furthermore, our smartphones include apps for the internet, social media, email, and even games. Losing focus and being distracted, even for a moment, can result in a simple mistake like a dropped tool, or a life-threatening event like a struck-by injury. Working in a construction setting, more than 1 in 4 reported accidents are caused by someone on their cell phone. According to the National Safety Council, eight people a day are killed in crashes attributed to distracted driving in the US. Not only do we struggle to put the phone down in the office or the field, but our commute is also affected. I remember the long hours troubleshooting on the tower top with nothing but my phone for the company while I waited for a reply from the NOC.

HOW TO FIGHT DISTRACTIONS

Did you know that, according to a University of California study, we only spend an average of 12 minutes on a task before we’re interrupted? Because it takes us more than 25 minutes to return to our task, removing our daily workplace distractions is extremely important. Three-quarters of distraction injuries occur in industrial settings and almost 60% in workplaces result in property damage. It takes more brainpower than ever before to keep yourself in a focused state, and the least you can do for everyday productivity is try to minimize external distractions. This means that you might have to schedule quiet hours when working under a deadline or silencing your phone. There are phone settings that can send auto-reply when you are driving or set quiet hours, so you sleep uninterrupted. Personally, my phone generates a weekly report so I can see how many hours I was on my phone and what I was doing. I have found that a little discipline helps keep me on track and less stressed; you can too.

If you would like more information on this topic or any other safety-related topic, please reach out to the Ontivity safety team at safety@ontivity.com, and we will get you taken care of. 

1820 Watson Lane East, New Braunfels, Texas 78130, United States

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