HR productivity hit by workplace distractions

Distracting office noises are seriously harming productivity for HR professionals, according to new research.

Vocal colleagues and aggravating mobile phone rings are among the worst interruptions breaking concentration and reducing productivity, a new survey by business technology manufacturer Brother has found.

More than half (58 per cent) of all HR professionals suffer between five and 20 interruptions per day when working in the office, with almost a fifth (17 per cent) complaining of more than 20 daily interruptions. However, when working from home, only 17 per cent of HR professionals endure between five and 10 daily interruptions.

In terms of productivity, the quieter home environments seem to be conducive to increased work – 67 per cent of HR professionals feel they are up to 75 per cent more productive when working from home.

Brother’s research found that 96 per cent of personnel professionals believe they are less stressed, more motivated and manage their time more effectively when working from home.

The survey of 1,800 UK home and office workers also found:

  • The majority (83 per cent) of those in HR would prefer to work from home more often – citing productivity, lack of distractions and reduced stress as key reasons

  • Most work longer hours at home, thus increasing their productivity – 8 per cent of those in the HR sector work between 10-12 hour days when in the office in contrast to 29 per cent of those working at home

  • Half (50 per cent) said they waste between two and four hours every day on non-productive work when in the going to the office, eg, travel time, chatting with colleagues

  • A third of HR workers (33 per cent) preferred to shun the traditional nine-to-five routine, with almost a fifth (17 per cent) preferring to enjoy a leisurely morning before getting down to serious work from noon onwards

  • The majority (63 per cent) would turn down a more highly paid job in favour of the flexibility of working from home and 63 per cent said that the opportunity to work from home was one of the key factors in them choosing an employer.

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