How many of you have a coworker that talks about their favorite football team every Monday during the fall? What about the person who tends to talk loud on their phone?  Do you feel like you are constantly being distracted?  According to the well-known architect and design firm, Gensler, the answer is probably yes.

Last year, Gensler redistributed their 2008 Workplace Survey to analyze differences in the results and identify shifts in workplace trends.   Think back to 2008 for a moment.  The world was in the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression.  Employment rates were at an all time low. Facebook and Twitter had hardly taken over the social sphere and the iPhone hadn’t even been on the market a full year.  Just as connectivity and communication has changed dramatically in those five years, so did the survey results.gensler figure 2

You can see from the bar chart that the amount of the day spent on focus work increased significantly.  It’s important that the space planning of a workplace allows people to concentrate during their focus work time.  At HON Headquarters, there are many small rooms where people can go to focus on their tasks at hand and nearby collaborative spaces where members can have quick conversations.  If members are at their desk working, many use headphones to mask the sounds of conversations going on around them. Focus work that falls vulnerable to interruptions and distractions can greatly decrease a person’s productivity.  Here are some statistics:

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What percentage of your day is spent on focus work? What are some distractions you hear or feel in your workplace? And, how exactly do you overcome the distractions?

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