Leadership, Ethics, and Trust

Interruptions: Taming One of the Worst Office Productivity Killers

Image from October 2021 GFR

In today’s workplace, technology has essentially reduced the cost of communication to zero. And while there are many benefits to more open communication, there is also a cost: We experience more interruptions during the workday. One inquiry into workplace interruptions found that the average worker experiences seven interruptions per hour and spend approximately five minutes dealing with a typical interruption.

This means that many people are spending up to three hours a day dealing with not very useful interruptions. GFOA members seem to agree—more than a quarter of respondents to a GFOA poll rated interruptions as the most annoying source of lost time at work, putting them at No. 2 on the list. (Meetings were No. 1.)