Disengagement May Be Necessary For Continued Productivity

It is no secret that in spite of all of our technological advances, the pace of work has drastically increased. While many of the tools that workers have access to seem to encourage workers to collaborate closely on a real-time basis, according to Mike Pugh, Vice President of Collaboration at RingCentral Glip, it can take a toll on workers’ attention spans. In a recent article on the HR dive website, Pugh advises that this “is the new normal.”

Pugh encourages managers to view times when workers appear to be disengaged as being necessary to continued productivity of those team members. A recent study found that today’s workers are unable to work for periods longer than 6 minutes without feeling the need to respond to digital distractions such as smartphones, email, texts or instant messages. Such distractions, according to a recent study conducted by Mental Health America in conjunction with the Faas Foundation found that such disengagement caused by digital distractions can cost US employers as much as $500 million annually in terms of lost productivity.

One suggestion to help cut down on such losses in overall productivity in the workplace from digital distractions is to suggest that workers take an occasional walk of approximately five minutes instead.  Nearly all workers (90%) surveyed said that they are motivated toward doing their best work. Even then, workers do have the need to check out –even if it is just during lunch or other scheduled work periods throughout the day.