How reducing interruptions can help tackle workplace burnout
From streamlining virtual platforms to effective time management, Moneypenny look at the potential ways to reduce interruptions in the workplace to improve overall employee wellbeing
A major stress-causing factor at work is interruption – from constant phone calls and emails to deliveries or dealing with visitors, it can quickly feel like you’re constantly being distracted from your core role. Failure to get mounting interruptions under control could prove extremely costly – to both job success and mental health.
Data from Berkeley University has revealed that on average, interruptions take 23 minutes and 15 seconds to recover from – even if the distraction is only a minute. This added pressure can cause already overstretched staff to become stressed and anxious. It’s a vicious cycle which leads to heightened absence and eventual attrition.
The last 12 months have taught us that health is wealth and protecting a workforce’s mental state must sit at the top of every facilities manager’s agenda. Diminished productivity leads to loss of revenue and, coupled with the harmful effects interruptions can have on employee confidence and mental wellbeing, is a recipe for disaster. Now is the ideal time for FMs to rethink company operations and the following tips offer a good place to start:
- Outsource communications
If staff know there’s the right infrastructure in place to support them, it can reduce worry. For example, if staff know all customer calls will be handled warmly, professionally and efficiently, even when they’re busy or in a meeting, it will instil calmness and focus without a ringing phone breaking their concentration. Outsourced telephone answering, switchboard and outbound follow-up support is the ideal solution for keeping interruptions to a minimum while maintaining the client experience.
- Choose technology that aligns
Streamline the number of video and project management platforms in use across the company so that employees come to ‘know them’ and don’t lose time loading different systems or finding multiple log-ins in-between meetings and tasks. There’s real value in keeping it simple and choosing technology that has wider value – for example, our telephone answering system has a Microsoft Teams integration which means call handlers know who’s available and when. The result – less interruption for busy staff and a better client experience.
- Diary management
Diaries aren’t just for meetings. Encourage employees to use their diaries to block manage their time, include tasks and add detail about whether they’re available or need quiet time. By making sure that front of house, reception or outsourced switchboard teams have access to these diaries it’s possible to give employees the space they need to look after themselves, be productive and thrive.