Co-workers! If you guessed that you get interrupted more by colleagues than any other distraction, you are correct.
They represent more distractions than emails or phone calls which are easier to ignore at your desk than a visitor, says a study from the journal Organization Studies.
Although the interruption may only last a few minutes, it certainly pecks away at your concentration.
As for strategies to combat distractions, per a Wall Street Journal piece, some people wear headphones while other create a barrier. Literally. Yes, we’re talking about displaying “do not disturb” signs or yellow barricade tape (you know who you are!).
In fact, as pointed out in the piece, per research from the University of California, Irvine, employees in cubicles get more interruptions (to the tune of 29% more) than employees working in private offices. Ah yes, the coveted door.
Interestingly enough, the highest traffic occurs between 2:30 p.m. and 4 p.m. when it’s not uncommon to see employees talk through cubicle walls or play music.