Close to 60 per cent of Canadians report they battle distraction at work, resulting in up to two hours of lost productivity every day, according to a new national survey commissioned by iQ Offices.

When asked to identify “what challenges my productivity the most,” Canadians said loud talkers and “talk-a-holic” chatty colleagues were the biggest productivity drain (54 per cent).

An iQ Offices coworking lobby featuring a live plant wall. Plants are thought to help reduce stress and boost productivity at work.
An iQ Offices coworking lobby featuring a live plant wall. Plants are thought to help reduce stress and boost productivity at work.

Physical workspace issues ranked second on the list of productivity drains, with nearly half of Canadians blaming “noisy recreation areas within the space” and a “distracting open-concept work environment” on lapses in daily productivity.

The third biggest productivity challenge for Canadians was “unassigned workspaces where I don’t have a permanent desk or office.” Forty-three per cent of respondents named this as a key complaint. Dreaded time-wasting meetings rounded out Canadians’ top productivity blockers.

The iQ Offices survey says roughly two-thirds of those surveyed report they would choose “slightly less money to work in a conveniently located… beautiful workspace designed for productivity and employee satisfaction.”

Other workplace environment issues that are important when it comes to productivity? A conveniently located workplace (60 per cent), the ability to work remotely (50 per cent), an attractively designed workspace with natural light (43 per cent) and privacy at work (38 per cent) are critical to helping them optimize their workplace potential, says iQ Offices.

When asked to sum up the impact of daily productivity drains on their performance, 73 per cent estimated they could save up to two hours a day if they worked in an office that was designed to minimize distraction.

More than one-third reported they could boost productivity by two hours each day as a result of working in a productivity enhancing office environment. Another 38 per cent of those surveyed estimated they could get the usual seven hours of work completed in six.

“Canadians overwhelmingly highlight design, physical environment productivity challenges like nomad seating arrangements, noise and distracting open-concept design, ahead of other workload-related challenges, such as excessive email or unexpected extra work,” says Kane Willmott, iQ Offices CEO and co-founder.

“Imagine what your business could accomplish if you gave the one to two hours of daily lost productivity back to your team. Better work/life balance, better business performance. My top productivity hacks are white noise systems, extra sound deadening materials, private work areas and office management support services,” says Willmott. “I find wellness features like sit/stand desks and nap rooms are a much better investment than a noisy recreation area when trying to improve productivity of teams and business performance. A mix of closed and open areas is optimal. The reality is people generally prefer this to open-concept workplaces.”

iQ Offices provides premium shared office and co-working spaces for companies.



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