Back in 2002, CubeSmart published a very interesting white paper on how often the average office worker is interrupted per day – and what effect this has on productivity. They arrived at some disturbing conclusions. First, here are some statistics:
- The average office employee is interrupted 50-70 times per workday
- The workload generated by each interruption averages about 5 minutes (more for in-person interruptions)
- It may take another 5-15 minutes to get back “in the zone” mentally after each interruption
If you’re good at math, it didn’t take you long to figure out that many workers are spending most of their time at work dealing with interruptions and the inevitable aftermath. It’s no wonder people have a hard time getting things done or performing their work effectively.
CubeSmart argues that most of these interruptions have little or no value. In other words, they aren’t mission critical in any way. In-person interruptions seem to be the biggest time suck. They generate the most stress and make it hardest to return to your former level of concentration afterward. That’s the main issue that CubeSmart seeks to address with its CubeDoor and CubeBanner products. The concept is simple. You just attach the retractable “door” to the cubicle panel and stretch it across to create a physical and psychological barrier against interruption when you need to concentrate. It’s a polite way of saying “I’m busy. Come back later.”
We’ve Got a Great Solution Too
It’s doubtful that the interruption trend has gotten any better over the ten years since CubeSmart wrote the original white paper. In fact, with the trend toward lower cubicle panels, things have probably just gotten worse. That’s why we’ve created the OBEX panel extenders. They are designed to automatically cut down on visual and audible interruptions in the workspace so employees can reclaim their productivity.
Stay tuned! In the upcoming weeks, we’ll look at other great products that can be combined with our cubicle panel extenders for an even more efficient work environment.