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Workplace Distractions Creep Into the C-suite

Do you feel like workplace distractions have taken a toll on your ability to concentrate? Take heart, everyone: Senior managers are feeling attention span pain, too!

Workplace distractions abound in the 21st Century, and with today's open office environments they're only getting worse. From peripheral movement to co-worker chatter to the rank smell of our co-worker's day-old fish platter, we might feel like there are barriers beyond our control when it comes to concentrating at work.

But what about distractions at the senior management level, where the job might include nifty features such as closed doors and executive assistants? Yeah, how distracted is the C-suite these days?

In what may be a small glimpse into the modern life of senior management, software and services provider Abila looked into the challenges facing non-profit CFOs and found that almost half (49%) view "daily interruptions" as their most pressing workplace challenge!

In fact, dealing with the warp and woof of workplace distraction courtesy of "people from other departments" is taking up 5.4 hours of the surveyed chief financial officers' time each week. These "hey, do you have a minute?" requests are equal to the amount of time it takes these CFOs to close out the books each month.

And you just know the average CFO has run the numbers on this one, don't you?

This study involves CFOs at large and small non-profit organizations, which may be wildly different from what's going on inside the average Fortune 500 C-suite. Still, it's somehow comforting to know that some CFOs are feeling distracted behind closed doors. Just like us, they're fighting the office culture of constant connectivity to maybe, just maybe, get something substantial done today! On time. It's a goal, anyway.

Ping! You have another 'urgent' email that isn't very urgent! We'd better call a meeting to figure it out!

Could distractions facing the senior management desk set eventually lead to better company-wide processes around workplace communication? Hmm. Let's hope so, because we're getting very tired of watching our co-worker clip his toenails on our desk.

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