Chatterboxes are biggest distraction in the workplace

THE “gift” of gab has long been considered one of our charms, but chatterboxes are the single biggest hurdle when trying to get some work done.

A poll by recruitment agency Robert Walters on the most time consuming distractions at work found while the usual suspects — email and the internet — ranked high, top of the list is loquacious co-workers.

“It really is quite interesting,” said managing director of Robert Walters Louise Campbell.

“Most people think that the internet is the biggest time waster at work, but our survey shows this isn’t the case. With most

“It happens — someone stops at your desk for a chat and ends up staying there for a while and not moving on.

“I think by our nature we find it hard to say ‘no I’m busy’, and a lot of Irish people would feel uncomfortable telling a work mate they have work to do.”

According to the poll:

*63% of professionals found chatty colleagues the most time consuming distraction.

*Personal email or internet was second at 25%.

*Social networking sites and smoking breaks were equal third at 6%.

“Even in the past 10 years the work environment has changed — personal calls would have taken up the most time then and there was no social networking.”

The survey found 70% of office workers in New Zealand and 67% in Hong Kong also listed talkative colleagues as the most time consuming distraction.

However casual conversations with co-workers can also be beneficial, said Ms Campbell.

“The odd chat during the day can provide a welcome break and can spark new ideas, but there is a balance that needs to be struck.”


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