95% Of Employees Are Distracted During the Workday, New Virgin Pulse Survey Finds - Virgin Pulse

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Press Release

95% Of Employees Are Distracted During the Workday, New Virgin Pulse Survey Finds

Survey’s 1,000 Respondents Report Healthy Habits the Number One Way to Get and Stay Focused at Work

Framingham, Mass. - (October 22, 2014)

Today’s workforce is more productive than ever, but the inability to focus is running rampant in the workplace. New data released today by Virgin Pulse, the market leader in the rapidly-growing employee health engagement category, finds 95 percent of employees report being distracted during the workday. The survey, Driven By Distractions: Why Employees’ Focus Is Waning At Work & What You Can Do About It, features responses from 1,000 participants (not Virgin Pulse members). It also revealed that healthy habits, like getting the proper amount of sleep, eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, help employees stay focused better than old-fashion methods like written to-do lists.

The good news for employers: investing in employees’ well-being can help reign in those distractions, which survey findings show ranged from technology disruptions to overly-social co-workers, and can help to improve employees’ attention so they can be more focused and productive.

“Every day, employees are grappling with attention-stealing stress, job pressures and all of life’s priorities, so in order to create a high-performing, productive workforce, it’s more important than ever for employers to support their employees’ well-being and help them to improve their ability to focus,” said Chris Boyce, CEO of Virgin Pulse. “Our survey’s findings are eye-opening and highlight how health and well-being is key to creating a focused, productive workforce. Supporting all aspects of employees’ health and well-being is a great place for companies to start and will help their people feel their best so they can hone in on their most important tasks.”

How Prevalent is Distraction?

With a laundry list of obligations and an equal amount of disruptions, employees find it difficult to maintain focus on the job.

  • 52 percent of respondents say they’re distracted 1-20 percent of the time during a workday
  • 43 percent say they’re distracted 21-75+ percent of the time
  • Only 5 percent say they’re never distracted

Technology, Chatty Colleagues & Stress Cause Distraction

If it’s not their work, what’s got employees’ attention? For more than half of respondents (54 percent), it’s their fellow co-workers looking to chat and socialize. Nearly 45 percent also cited their inability to hone in on what’s important at work stems from technology distractions like email and text messages. Twenty-two percent said personal stress like worries over relationships, family or money inhibits their ability to focus at work.

Catching Zzz’s (and Healthy Habits) Are Best at Helping Employees Focus

With productivity and focus “hacks” abound, there’s a whole host of options available to employees to help them keep the distractions at bay – but maintaining healthy habits trumps them all. Seventy percent of respondents say their health habits have a noticeable impact on their ability to focus at work

  • 68 percent say proper sleep is the number one way to maintain focus at work
  • 43 percent say taking a mid-day walk or getting some exercise helps them get and stay focused at work

Ways Employers Can Help

Whether employees are totally tuned in or completely unfocused, employers are perfectly poised to help improve their attention – and employees would welcome the support. Eighty-seven percent of respondents indicated they’d be interested in free tools or programs to help them improve their efficiency and focus if their workplace offered them. Unfortunately, 59 percent said their company didn’t offer these types of programs.

Employers can help employees by offering tools and resources that support all aspects of employees’ well-being so they can manage their stress, make healthy habits a higher priority, and feel their best at work and in life.

Read the report’s full findings and check out five actionable tips to improve employee focus. Download the full survey report.

About Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse, part of Sir Richard Branson’s famed Virgin Group, helps employers create a workforce with the energy, focus, and drive necessary to fully engage at work and in life. With its award-winning, online platform, the company fosters healthy daily habits and sustainable behavior change that help employees thrive at work and across all aspects of life. Unlike narrowly-focused employee health and engagement solutions, Virgin Pulse is a hub of consumer-focused strategies and innovative tools that set the foundation for a company’s engagement efforts. More than 250 industry leaders representing 1.5M+ employees have selected Virgin Pulse’s programs to reinvigorate their workplace. Learn more at virginhealthst.wpengine.com.