Biz: Workplace Distractions

August 20 2012, 10:20 AM

It's easy to get distracted at work. If your workplace is anything like ours, the Internet is at your fingertips, and things like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube are all tempting you to divert a few minutes of your attention. But when it comes to distractions in the workplace, a new survey by a Denver-based online database company, TrackVia, suggests there are more powerful culprits than social media. 

In fact, the top two responses to the survey were more conventional time-wasters: Water cooler chitchat, and computer and software malfunctions. (Of the 300 survey participants, 14 percent cited chitchat as a distraction, 11 percent cited computer problems as distracting, and only five percent acknowledged social media as their biggest distraction from work.) Interestingly, meetings were third on the distractions list, which, of course, are often aimed specifically at increasing productivity. (Who hasn't sat through a handful of dull meetings?) A whopping 37 percent of survey respondents said at least half of the time they spend in meetings was wasteful and eight percent indicated meetings were always productive.

So, at the risk of becoming part of the problem, we're wondering: What distracts you at work? 

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Follow 5280 assistant editor Chris Outcalt on Twitter at @chrisoutcalt.