A joint study from the University of California & Humboldt University claims that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to return to a task after an interruption.
If you think of how many times you’re distracted throughout the day; perhaps it’s procrastination, taking a short break or being asked a question by a well-meaning colleague, that time will really mount up throughout the day. Even with the increasing popularity of remote set-ups, interruptions come at us in the form of notifications, phone pings and email alerts.
Productivity loss: are technology distractions the culprit?
These constant distractions can mean a huge loss of productivity, engagement and even higher stress levels. What’s more, the number of people who believe technology is to blame for their distractions, according to a 2016 survey by CareerBuilder, speak for themselves.
Top distraction culprits include smartphones (55%), the internet (41%), gossip (37%) and social media (37%).
However, technology isn’t always a negative force when it comes to work, as there are tech tools, such as syncing calendar apps, all-in-one business management software and time tracking tools, to name a few, that can help increase productivity and engagement.
Could you benefit from an LMS or LXP?
When it comes to L&D efficiencies, learning management systems (LMS) and learning experience platforms (LXP) can be fantastic resources to help with learning in the flow of work. This is why it’s important to know which solution would be the best fit for your business.
LMS - this web-based platform means that continuous and effective learning is possible within a company of any size. Flexible content can be delivered via this learning ecosystem and, in addition to this, analysis can be completed and employee performance and analysis can be monitored.
LXP - a learning experience platform uses AI to enable your workforce to have control of their own learning and also their own career growth via personalised learning, based on past learning experiences. This makes your team’s learning engagement a central goal for your business.
Case study: discussing chat software
In today’s age, we’re lucky that digital tools designed to help communication aren’t in short supply.
Organisations rely on an average of 3.56 different internal comms tools, not to mention SMS, email, phone calls, social media and the multitude of video conferencing applications available.
But, in recent years, none of them have been as celebrated and criticised as the messaging app, Slack. For some, it’s the perfect tool to segment conversations via channels, integrate support requests, project management software…the list goes on.
Bloomberg called it “gossipy email”. While others say it’s too easy to use and addictive, and actually hurts productivity. Some employees even felt that they needed to stay constantly connected to keep up, worried they’d be left out of important discussions and decisions.
This crippling sense of FOMO (fear of missing out) can be especially problematic for remote companies; it’s about finding the right balance between being kept informed and having much-needed downtime ahead of your next busy day.
Do you have alert and notification overload?
One important thing to remember: the companies building third-party digital tools want you to rely on them as much as possible. Usage is a metric for success, and notifications are the best way to keep you engaged with the product.
With this in mind, it’s understandable that too many notifications can lead to what’s known as notification fatigue. If employees are receiving too many pings and notifications, they can start to feel overwhelmed, finding it difficult to regain their ‘flow’ - that ‘in-the-zone’ state that allows them to do their best work.
This fatigue is vital to bear in mind when selecting an L&D programme. On the one hand, you want employees to be engaged at work and surrounded by learning opportunities; on the other, you don’t want to bombard them so insistently that they become distracted.
Which tools actually boost engagement?
When looking at which tools and technologies help boost employee engagement in the workplace, a good place to start is with project management tools. These tools empower employees to own their role, provide them autonomy and can also improve communication.
Internal communication tools are also important, but more than choosing the one with the most features, it’s important to ensure they truly meet the needs of your business and workforce.
When it comes to employee engagement survey software, there is also no shortage of options, from lightweight apps like TinyPulse, which gathers feedback through weekly anonymous surveys, to full, end-to-end platforms like Culture Amp, which analyses responses and provides recommendations on where to focus improvements.
Finally, L&D leaders should look for employee engagement initiatives with the following features:
- 24/7 access, with support for both on-site and remote learners
- Sandboxed environment, where there is no temptation to look for distractions
- Skills on offer that align with business and personal growth plans
- Engagement tracking and reporting
Boost employee engagement with the right course
At Busuu for Business, we understand that finding the right online courses and opportunities for your team from the right learning providers can be the difference between boosting employee engagement and deterring people from fully applying themselves in their learning.
This is why we have designed a digital language training programme to please. We believe language learning should be enjoyable, inclusive and beneficial both for companies and employees alike.
To learn more about our programmes and how they can help measure, track and boost employee engagement, contact us today.
Image source: Busuu