By Andrew Kupperman, RISQ Consulting Employer Services and Workforce Technology Consultant, SHRM-CP
Do you ever feel like you spend an entire day doing a million different things at work, but by the end of the day, you feel like you’ve accomplished nothing? Even the best planned out workdays can easily get side tracked by the constant interruption we expose ourselves to on a daily working basis. From email to direct messaging systems to phone calls, there are a ton of things in our day to day work life that can distract you from feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
Professor Gloria Mark with the University of California did a bit of research on the impact of task switching, and the toll of distractions on the average worker in the tech industry. The fascinating thing is this research was done well over 10 years ago, but it still strongly resonates in today’s work world, where the chance of distraction and frequent task switching is much higher than it was back then.
The biggest concern from this older research, is the time it takes to get back on track (23 minutes and 15 seconds) isn’t any less based on newer research I’ve heard about. In addition, the stress these types of distractions can cause is still a very high impact in today’s world. Although we’re still advancing from a technological standpoint at a decent rate since this article was written and research was done, we still haven’t solved for the ultimate toll on our wellbeing.