The biggest office distractions (from phones to small talk to loud coworkers)

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According to a new One Poll study, commissioned by GoTo by LogMeIn, the average office worker, over the course of a week, takes more than 100 mini-breaks, fueled by 19 cups of coffee, attends 17 meetings, has 26 email refreshers and participates in 21 rounds of “awkward” small talk.

The worldwide survey, examines the working habits of 2,000 employees from the U.K, the U.S France, Germany, India, and Australia, presenting some interesting insights into modern cubicle culture.

On balance, respondents bemoaned insufficient communication skills and pervasive distractions as the reasons they got so little done, day to day. Sixty-four percent of respondents said that they waste the most time switching between the tools they need to do their job while an additional 56% said that their smartphones were the biggest obstacle to productivity.

The remainder of would-be busy-bees lamented their office’s poor communication policies as one of the chief productivity deterrents – 46% of workers said that they were unable to focus on various tasks because of all the disruptive noise and conversations happening around them. This noise pool was also comprised of frequent news alerts and nearby construction.

A third of respondents felt that collectively, these distractions have caused them to make blunders at work at least once, namely spelling mistakes (46%), grammar mistakes (39%) and not speaking up during meetings (34%). One of the respondents reportedly sent a text message meant for her boyfriend to her assistant manager, while another mistakenly sent personal information to a co-worker.

“Businesses need to set their employees up for success by giving them easy to use, reliable collaboration tools that help rather than hinder. Ultimately the tools need to facilitate great collaboration by simply getting out of the way so employees can work how, where and when they want,” said Mark Strassman, SVP and General Manager, Unified Communications and Collaboration at LogMeIn.

Check out the full list of distractions and blunders below.

Top 5 office distractions

  1. Phone: 55%
  2. Loud conversations: 46%
  3. Personal email: 44%
  4. News alerts: 35%
  5. Noisy construction around me: 32%

Top 5 non-work related tasks people do at the office

  1. Check social media: 57%
  2. Text: 50%
  3. Have a conversation with a colleague about personal life: 48%
  4. Keep both my personal and work emails open: 46%
  5. Take a longer lunch break: 39%