The ‘Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad’ Effects of Office Interruptions:
Did you know the average office worker is interrupted every three minutes and that it can take them 23 minutes just to get back to where they left off?
Efficiency and workflow consultant Edward G. Brown has studied the harmful effects of interruptions like these on office productivity, job satisfaction, performance quality, company profits and personal satisfaction—and this is what he found:
Through my research, I had discovered that even highly disciplined, focused people routinely lose three to five hours a day to “time bandits” (people who interrupt them, however innocently). My conclusions were crystallizing, and I was beginning to set them down in a book. Then an uncomfortable realization began to dawn on me….
I would give one or more of my excellent employees an important, urgent assignment, and off they’d go—excited, committed and focused. But the next thing you know, I would call them with another idea, question or assignment. I’d hang up, satisfied that I had cleared my agenda nicely. But how do you suppose they felt?
Deflated, discouraged, distracted—that’s how. Abruptly pulled off a project they were deeply immersed in and excited about. Forced to switch their attention to another subject that their boss was suddenly enthused about and respond with the eagerness that good employees bring to the boss’s enthusiasms.
By interrupting them, I was paving the way for all those interruption ills that I was writing about. I was being a time bandit….
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