The advent of the digital age has brought with it nearly as many detriments as it has benefits. While the instant availability of information is a welcome addition in many facets of life, when focus and determination are needed, it can often be a hindrance. Meetings where once workers wouldn't have any avenue of distraction are now populated with wandering eyes, rapidly moving fingers and the distinct glow of smart phone screens.
Kathleen Owens of Fast Company has witnessed many such instances of inattention in employees, and proposes some potential ways to get peoples' minds off Twitter, Facebook or Reddit and on the actual work at hand.
- Some meetings are unnecessary: One plausible method to keep meeting distractions down is to reduce the number of meetings themselves. Get-togethers that don't provide "executable actions" are merely busy work and leech time that could otherwise be used to be productive.
- Eliminate multi-tasking: It may be easier said than done, but implementing a system by which employees must drop all other work when coming into meetings can drastically improve what they retain from them. Even people trying to do work on their phone can be just as unproductive as those just browsing the internet.
- Phones in the bin: Finally, perhaps the most to-the-point solution is to simply disallow mobile devices and laptops inside a conference room. According to John Vars, co-founder of Dogster Inc., they do the trick. "Meetings go quicker and there is also just a shared experience. People are communicating better, the flow is faster," he says.
Human resources exists to, in part, address workplace issues like this. Unfortunately, they are often bogged down with administrative work. HR Software Solutions can provide HR application support and help automate many of those duties to let your attention to divert to diverting your employees' attention.