Avoid these top new age distractions at work to improve productivity

Ten, even five years ago, the amount of traffic, information, and ultimate inundation of ‘stuff’ to distract us at our desks is not what it is today. As a New Age or Digital Age employee we are expected to deliver a huge amount in high-pressured, huge-result environments, all while being faced with distractions that our parents or even our older siblings never had to deal with

Social Media & the Internet

On social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, new content is being uploaded every millisecond, and the sheer volume of new info can be a huge distraction at work. Most forward-thinking companies don’t restrict employee access to the internet with the idealistic assumption that the person themselves should be able to police their own usage. Don’t be that guy who sits on Facebook for 7.5 hours out of every working day, or downloads the full series of Game of Thrones, be strict with your usage. Structure your social media viewing to set times, like before work or during your lunch hour, to avoid distractions.


The most “acceptable” of all the distractions is email because after all, you can’t switch it off or else the boss might complain, right? Email after email, coming in minute after minute, piling up in your inbox can be an incredibly bad distraction. Checking and responding to emails all day long can be a serious distraction on your productivity and creativity. Time management specialists suggest allocating set times to check and respond to emails during the working day. In between those times they suggest closing your email completely to avoid notifications from popping up.


We all know the one guy in the office who will literally corner you for an hour talking about his divorce or his suspicions that his girlfriend is dating another guy at the same time. Avoid distracting people, by literally avoiding their desks or the office social areas if you want to focus on a task to completion in one go. Perhaps, once that task is done allow yourself a 15-minute leg stretch – if you bump into him at the coffee station it won’t be the end of the world.


Meetings, in our opinion, are officially the biggest distraction and time-waster of the 21st Century world of work. If your company schedules 20-minute meetings that never take less than an hour and 20 minutes, it’s totally understandable if you consider the word ‘meeting’ to be blasphemous. Here are some suggestions for making meetings more efficient and less time-consuming:

  • Have an agenda and stick to it.
  • Stop-watch approach – if you have an opinion, you should be able to air it in two minutes, and the meeting organiser should time it, if not you get buzzed out.
  • Consider skype or VC – to avoid time wasted in travelling to and from meetings at client’s, ask your company to consider allowing non-crucial people the ability to skype in remotely.

Keen on looking for vibrant working environment that celebrates forward thinking? Add your CV to E-Merge’s database today, and let’s get your moving.

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