Ed Huff comments on Facebook that–as my image caption to the graph posted in the article below also points out about the harmon.ie report–Phone calls are more distracting than email or social media. In fact, phones (28%) plus emails (23%) account for most of the workplace distractions with “toggling between activities” is tied with “talking with co-workers” at 10% each.

But harmon.ie spins the data this way: “The majority (57%) of work interruptions now involve either using collaboration and social tools like email, social networks, text messaging and IM, or switching windows among disparate standalone tools and applications”

Yet while most companies (68%) and an even higher percent of individuals (73%) have each added techniques to help maintain focus and minimize distractions, there is little evidence that the same policies attack telephone distractions — the worst.

Reminds me that I’ve always found these final lines of Philip Larkin’s poem Aubade especially chilling:

Meanwhile telephones crouch, getting ready to ring
In locked-up offices, and all the uncaring
Intricate rented world begins to rouse.
The sky is white as clay, with no sun.
Work has to be done.
Postmen like doctors go from house to house.

The Office Phone