Most Workers Report Being Distracted By Email And Instant Messages

Collaboration and social media tools are preventing employees from realising their full productivity, causing millions of dollars in losses for companies, a survey has found.

The survey, which took comments from more than 500 white collar workers in US businesses, was conducted by social email software provider harmon.ie and research firm uSamp, USA Today reports.

It discovered that 60 percent of workers were distracted by tools like email, social networks, text messaging and instant messaging or by switching windows between applications. Indeed, around 45 percent of employees work for 15 minutes without being distracted while 15 percent of them waste at least one hour every day getting distracted by all kinds of things.

A single hour wasted every day for a year results in a loss of $10,375 per employee annually, assuming that the average salary of the employees is $30 per hour. Businesses which have 1,000 employees bear losses of $10 million annually due to lost productivity.

“The very tools we rely on to do our jobs are also interfering with that mission. We’re clearly seeing what psychologists call ‘online compulsive disorder’ spill over from our personal lives to the work environment,” said Yaacov Cohen, co-founder and CEO of harmon.ie.