This is what happens to your productivity when you work in an office

Just in case you needed reminding why it's awesome to be working from home today- these productivity stats from time management expert Kate Christie will keep your smug levels as warm as your coffee.

By Partner content

If you’re working in an office or communal workspace today expect to be interrupted every eight minutes.

And if that doesn’t make you feel uncomfortable – this will. 

According to Kate Christie, author and time management expert and founder of Time Stylers it takes us a total of 23 minutes to recover our concentration and get back to work. Every. Single. Time. 

Not only that, it takes an average of completing 2 different tasks before we return to the task we were interrupted from.

Add all those things together and it doesn’t take a genius to work out that you’ve just lost a huge chunk of your work day – not to mention when you add other daily distractions like meetings, phone calls, bathroom breaks and heading for a coffee or making your lunch.  

So what’s the solution?  

Obviously finding a work space that is free of people seems like a good idea – balancing out your week with some time at home or a quiet co-working space could really help your productivity.  

But if that’s not possible for you, Kate has a few excellent suggestions to help you snatch some of that precious time back. 

I have surveyed thousands of professionals and business owners around the world and the number one Time pain point we experience is ‘interruptions’. If you are serious about taking control of your time, you need to take control of the interruptions.”

Here is Kate’s 5 step plan:

  1. Keep a running record for a day of how many times you are interrupted
  2. Keep a record of who is interrupting you, there might be a serial saboteur!Once you have pinpointed the saboteur you have a couple of options:
    (i) if they are a team member in need of your help, have you trained them properly? Do you need to set up more training for them?
    (ii) are the interruptions for information only you have? If so, you need to get that information out of your head and into a policy/ checklist
    (iii) is the interruption just for banter? Have a polite discussion with the person about how the interruptions are impacting you and lock in a regular half hour coffee with them once a week.
  3. If you can’t remove the distractions, and you need to work on something that requires your concentration, remove yourself to a place where you won’t be interrupted.
  4. Turn your phone off! (Yes, it works. )
  5. Record how many times your interrupt or distract yourself.

Read more from Kate Christie on her website.

Lucy Kippist

is an experienced Australian editor with experience in writing, podcasting radio and television, with previous senior editorial roles at News Corp news.com.au, Kidspot and Kinderling Kids Radio. In her current role as editor of Flying Solo, Australia's #1 website for solo business owners she is pursuing her passion for women in the small business space. Connect with her on Twitter and LinkedIn.


127,220 people use Flying Solo to help them create a business with life. Do you?

Connect with Flying Solo

Explore the benefits of membership