Skip to main content

Lights, Camera, Distraction!

By November 8, 2019No Comments

It’s getting to that time of year when a notice period means that a candidate will be starting a new role in 2020. With most agencies closing their doors on Friday the 20th December this year NZ enters that vocational hibernation a whole working week before the big day. I start giving heads up to overseas candidates who have breached our shores chasing the sun and that they may need to tighten their belts because there is a very real possibility, they won’t start a job till Feb. Once I flex on the pronunciation of ‘Waitangi’ Day to someone who’s not in a position to correct me, they ask why it’s like this? I then explain that unlike Blighty and the rest of Europe who have their summer hols conveniently in the middle of the year allowing for some well-deserved respite, us industrious kiwi’s plow through the year braving the winter months. Sure, it’s a pretty cruisy start to the year with Queens and Cities having birthdays out the ying-yang! Plus that joyous day after, the day after new years off. However, once Lizy has blown out the last of her 90+ candles we enter into a barren wasteland of no stat days until October! Nothing is stopping you from shooting off to Samoa, Croatia or Fiji, except time and money of course, but it’s almost understandable that once the sun puts his hat on that us on the ground in NZ get a tad distracted.

We can’t blame it all on the short pants weather, this time of year, on the whole, is a scheduling quagmire with awards ceremonies, supplier and client drinks, work do’s, sporting events, Christmas shopping, etc. We love perpetuating a stereotype and the chilled-out NZ brand is kind of at the forefront during these festive months. There is a lot to steal our focus, but is it getting harder to concentrate? A recent independent study by GoTo & Logmein surveyed over 2,000 employees’ in AUS, UK, US, Germany, France, and India for the answer, presumably, NZ left them on read. They claimed that workers are more distracted now than ever before citing workplace environments and technologies needed to do their jobs as the main reasons. In fact, over half the Aussies surveyed thought their workplace lacked or had ineffective communication policies which surprises me as every Aussie I’ve met has been an eloquent wordsmith capable of communicating with ease with little to no use of the words dog, c*nt or fuc*ed.

Technology is what separates us from civilizations of the past, it’s granted us the ease to work remotely and has saved countless Jack Russell’s lives via a 5G network. It’s also the all singing all dancing black hole in your pocket. A phone to a recruiter is like a gun to a cop, a bible to a priest, a cowboy hat to a window washer; it’s a tool to aid you in your work. It’s also a massive vibrating distraction. 97% of respondents admit to looking at their mobile phone for personal reasons during work hours, above our international colleagues (94%). I know what you’re thinking, that 3 % are absolute losers! When I first read that I thought ‘Finally!’ Some data to oppose that ridiculous claim from an arrant candidate “sorry, I didn’t look at my phone” If 97% are looking at it during work you Mr candidate who is not working have no excuse! As to what people are looking at; 64 percent browse social media, 31 percent have looked at online shopping, and 24 percent have logged onto sports sites. Almost as if a brag the article states that a “mere 3 percent of Australians said they had ever looked at a dating site at work, while internationally, 21 percent had done this” Soz Brits! Be better looking!

This probably varies from office to office but the average employee engages in more than 17 different instances of small talk around the office every week, although the majority (53 percent) said they only had 1-3 small talk interactions every day and most preferred for these interactions to occur in-person (48 percent). For the handful in the market who have had the pleasure of sitting next to Sean Mario Walters know that that is a scarily low number of small talks. The article makes the point to say that the other big distraction is the number of tools and programs at their disposal. On average we use 2.55 different tools to communicate with our colleagues in a typical workday, 61 percent have at least five different computer programs, including workplace tools, apps, and management programs. These distractions and convoluted tech platforms result in a dip in productivity and have an adverse effect on the consultant’s attention to detail. 64 percent said they’ve sent an email to the wrong person, which I imagine is much higher but these questions were probably asked in front of a manager under a massive spotlight in Berlin or Mumbai. In what would make a fantastic coffee table book; 7 percent of respondents said they’ve accidentally sent a chat to someone talking bad about them.

We’re all human, if we weren’t hardwired to respond to positive noises and flashing lights the gambling industry would’ve died of death ages ago. The same can be said for the alluring glow of the sun and the siren call of a spare table that’s actually in the sun in this city. Nothing can be done to limit workplace distractions as they are part of life as a recruiter but as the article suggests organizations should look to invest in consolidating their various collaborative tools and technologies into a simpler, more streamlined system to avoid concentration slipping through the gaps. I know it’s difficult but, as we know complacency is a recruiter’s worst enemy. It’s tough work through December/January from a commission perspective but keep focus, like bears coming out of their cave ravenous we hope for a financial feast that awaits us in Feb, so keep focus! Also, don’t forget to do your fantasy team at some point today 😉