The Terrible Cost of Distracted, Disengaged Workers

The Cost of Distracted, Disengaged Workers

Whether workers are engaged in it or just held captive by it, office noise is simply distracting.  And distracted workers are unproductive, leading to disengagement.  Disengaged workers are costly because they:

  • are unproductive
  • make more errors
  • solve problems less
  • make fewer ergonomic adjustments
  • call in sick more frequently
  • turn over more often

That horrible combination of all negative symptoms adds up to about $600 billion per year for US businesses.  There’s not a single good thing that comes from distraction.  Even the workers find it a frustrating waste of time since many have to add evenings and weekends to their normal hours to make up for it.

Dealing with Distraction

There are two main ways to counter-act office noise/distraction- hint- one of them is not banning the internet.  Actually, the most distracting and unnecessary part of a worker’s day is conversational distraction.  So, the idea is to use sound masking to cover it.  The two ways to do that are to cover noise individually or corporately.

  1. Sound Machine.  Sound machines use white noise for individual users that can be adjusted as necessary.  They are affordable, but only work for 1 user at a time.
  2. Sound Masking System.  Like the name implies, this is a system that is intended for larger spaces.  It is zoned so that it’s not just a louder application.

If $600 billion a year bothers you, then consider what bothers your workers {noise!} and implement some form of sound masking to reclaim your part of it.