Retaining focus is easier said than done. Even in a digital workplace, distractions come quick and fast – pulling vital team members away from essential work or bringing risk of burnout. However, retaining the right degree of attention is far from impossible.

So, why exactly is employee focus so important and what can be done to improve it?

Why is focus so important?

Simply put, ‘focus’ allows you to get the job done in the time available to you.

Learning to focus is an essential life-skill, allowing you to complete a task successfully to the best of your ability. Without it, projects can quickly go out of control, important details can end up lost, and making up for lost time can quickly lead to ballooning budgets and out of hours effort to make up on the workload.

However, it is important to remember that even the most dedicated and single-minded employee is only as good as the environment they are working in. This makes it essential to not only provide the training and support they need, but to ensure that issues in the workplace are kept to a minimum.

What common distractions are there?

While the specificities of the distractions involved can vary from business to business, they can be collected into three key criteria. These include:

Digital Distractions: Our ‘always on’ culture brings a number of frustrating obstacles with it. Work can be distracted by urgent or unnecessary emails, texts and calls throughout the working day, or conversations through Slack, Zoom or other systems. While these can be fantastic reminders, having them appear throughout the day can draw focus, pull members of staff away from important meetings and more.

Physical Distractions: While it may be easier to have a quick face-to-face chat than playing email tennis, those conversations can significantly eat into your day. Even a 30 second ‘tap on the shoulder’ chat can result in a loss of concentration – with it taking longer to refocus on a task that
you were in the middle of completing. This can result in missing important process steps, client information, and more.

Infrastructure issues: Despite having technology at our fingertips, the truth is that it sometimes just doesn’t work the way we want it to. Meetings can be derailed by technical issues, ghosting, or feedback – making a session that took weeks to plan an instant write off. This can range from
misconfiguration, bugs and technical problems, or just using the wrong system.

How can I stop them?

Once identified, it is often a simple case of putting steps in place to avoid issues in the future. These can include-

Introducing Improvements: If you are still struggling with daily digital intrusions, it’s easy to eliminate them with a little reminder management. This can be as simple as muting alarms, screening client calls, and setting up internal triaging practice for dealing with digital queries – introducing realistic response times and setting expectations. Notifications can be put up to whatever software collaboration system you many be using and setting key points in the day to ‘check in’ can make your workload manageable and responses of a higher quality.

Changing working practice: When it comes to minimising personal interruptions, switching from major meetings to online chats can help disruptions – with many systems letting you set your current availability status. If problems persist, it is worth having a conversation with your HR team about clearly dictating communication practice in the office – minimising interruptions for busy staff members and ensuring that all members are aware of the costs disruption can bring.

Deploying essential upgrades: If your technical or software solution is unfit for purpose, problems will continue until they are directly addressed. Identifying key pain points will allow you to provide your own solution or discuss your options with a provider – with many being able to offer a flexible package that suits your daily needs. These can be integrated without disruption, letting you operate with greater efficiency and cutting back on resource wasting distractions.

Find out more

If you want to learn more about making sure your teams stay focused and ready, our team at Practical Software are here to help. With many years’ experience, our highly trained employees work with you to provide the essential care and support that your staff need.

You can view our list of solutions and services in full from here. Or
if you have additional questions or queries, please do not hesitate to get in touch directly and let us know exactly what you need to secure the best
productivity performance from your operation.