Seemingly mundane workplace disruptions, such as an interrupting co-worker and slow internet access, contribute to almost six hours a week of lost time for the owners of small companies, according to a new study.
The research, undertaken by Samsung Electronics, also highlighted the potential of the worst workplace disruptions in forcing employees out of a company, as well as taking valuable hours out of the working day.
Almost a third of survey respondents claimed that an irritating colleague had led them to hand in their notice, while ten per cent admitted that poor technology systems were too much to bear to continue.
Commenting on the findings, Professor Sir Cary L Cooper, of the University of Manchester and a leading expert on workplace wellbeing, offered small business owners advice to avoid missing out on valuable office hours and losing team members.
According to the study, workplace technology issues contribute to the biggest workplace productivity drain contributing to two hours a week of lost time for each worker.
Slow internet access and crashing computers were found to be the most irritating technology problems for 92 per cent of employees surveyed.
Cooper advised business owners to consider how they can effectively use time lost to technology problems, emphasising how patience in such situations can be beneficial and reduce the damage of workplace disruptions.
if you’re having technological difficulties, it is best to do other things in the meantime make any phone calls you’ve been putting off, or go to a meeting while the problems are sorted out, he said.
Disruptive workers are costing their employer 22 minutes each day, according to Samsung’s study, and 83 per cent of survey respondents revealed that their most disruptive colleague is the moaner.
Cooper claimed that positive working relationships between employees should not be underestimated in boosting productivity and business growth.
In order to avoid conflict, Cooper said that it is important to meet colleagues face-to-face as much as possible to build these effective and socially supporting relationships.
Praseeda Nair is the editorial director of Business Advice, and its sister publication for growing businesses, Real Business. She's an impassioned advocate for women in leadership, and likes to profile business owners, advisors and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and management.
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