Does your colleague call you out every two minutes just to see his/her picture during college days or a Facebook update even as you try to write an important report?
If the answer is yes and you do not take measures to reduce interruptions during work, quality of your work would suffer, a study suggests.
“People do not realise how disruptive interruptions can be,” said co-author of the study Cyrus Foroughi from George Mason University in the US.
“Interruptions can cause a noticeable decrement in the quality of work, so it’s important to take steps to reduce the number of external interruptions we encounter daily,” Foroughi noted.
For the study, two groups of participants were given time to outline and write an essay on an assigned topic.
One group was interrupted multiple times with an unrelated task, and a control group had no interruptions. Independent graders scored the finished essays on a numbered scale.
The researchers found significantly lower quality in essays completed by the participants who were interrupted during the outline and writing phases than in essays of those who were not interrupted.
In addition, those participants who were interrupted during the writing phase wrote considerably fewer words.
The study appeared in the journal Human Factors.