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When Designing Your Office Space – Think About Interruptions

According to a report in The Wall Street Journal this week, open office space designs – lower cubicle walls, communal cafes and fewer private offices – can be hard on office productivity. Employees in open spaces experience interruptions to 63% of the tasks they work on in an average day. Even in more traditional offices, employees in cubicles are interrupted 29% more than those in private offices. On average, face-to-face interruptions account for one-third more intrusions than email or phone calls.

The problem with interruptions is that when someone is focused on something, studies have shown that it takes over 25 minutes to return to work on the same task and 15 minutes to get back to the same level of intense concentration you had before you were interrupted. An interruption as short as 2.8 seconds can cause workers to make more computer errors when they return to their task. And frequent interruptions create fatigue and an increase in physical ailments such as migraines and headaches. Read More>

The Wall Street Journal Infographic on Office Distractions

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