Distractions cost businesses £139bn

2005

Distractions in the office that cause workers to lose concentration cost UK businesses some £139 billion a year, a survey has estimated.

A survey, by office equipment manufacturer Brother, found employers lost up to two hours from their working day because of noisy colleagues, mobile phones going off and e-mails arriving.

Nearly two thirds of workers complained they suffered up to 20 interruptions a day, something that cost businesses £4,903 per employee over the course of a year, Brother estimated.

Working from home, where there are often fewer interruptions, made workers 56 per cent more productive, it argued.

Communications director Mike Dinsdale said: “It’s important to achieve the right balance. Certain personalities thrive in a load, busy office environment, while others need a peaceful, soothing relaxed atmosphere to maximise their creativity.”

Just one per cent of office workers ever managed to get through a day without being interrupted, compared with 10 per cent of home workers, the survey added.