Distraction & Etiquette
The average worker is distracted more than two hours every day and is interrupted every 3 minutes! That may be hard to believe, though we all know distraction at work is inevitable. The problem is that it’s not just one or two distractions, and it’s not just fun distractions- distractions comes in all shapes and sizes and are not discriminating in who they attack. In fact, they affect us all. Case in point: two friends made the following Facebook comments just minutes apart:
The latest Barnes and Noble shenanigan: the lady next to me is reading her e-mail out loud. Listen, lady- I feel that I should warn you. You are sitting next to an aspiring author. Anything you say can and will be used in a novel if I like it.
Question of etiquette: Forcing people around you to listen to your half of a phone call when they have no way to avoid listening- bad manners or social norm?
I will be the first to admit that a book store and a public place are fair game for such breaches of social etiquette, as my second friend called it. Interestingly, though, I find it is not just the common areas or coffee break times that we hear these conversations in the typical work place. Because of modern office design, workers are almost shoulder to shoulder in their cubicles or even shared desks as they attempt to juggle the computer and social aspects of their jobs, not to mention their personal lives that crop up throughout the day.
There are two main solutions for this kind of inevitable distraction:
While one might argue that social norms dictate better habits, we all know that people will be people, which at times, can just be obnoxious. Thus, in a work environment, your go-to resource is white noise. That’s because it’s the practical choice for tuning out unwanted noise and still being polite. White noise comes in two major forms, as noted above. A sound machine is helpful for individuals battling distractions, while a sound masking system is for larger areas prone to louder office noise. Both are effective, just for different-sized spaces and numbers of users.