Majority of Workers Are More Productive When Alone, Says Study

A recent study conducted by Ask.com titled Office Workplace Productivity reveals the habits of office workers and factors that help keep them productive. A large majority of those surveyed (86 percent) said their maximum productivity occurs when they are working alone. Furthermore, only 29 percent said they prefer to work from home, while 63 percent said they like to spend "focus time" in their personal workspaces.

The Office Workplace Productivity study included 2,060 adults over the age of 18 in March 2013.

"This research gives us broader context when thinking about the workplace culture we're trying to foster," said Lisa Ross, the VP of human resources at Ask.com. "It also yielded some unexpected findings. For example, while working from home policies have been hotly debated in the media, it appears most office workers actually prefer working in an office environment, as long as companies facilitate focus time and minimize distractions."

Such distractions include loud coworkers (61 percent), impromptu meetings (40 percent) and not enough distance from managers. Twenty percent surveyed said they would rather increase their work responsibilities than sit near their boss. And, this physical nearness seems unnecessary since 46 percent said they communicate with managers through instant messages, email or phone.

Meanwhile, 27 percent said they prefer a 'newsroom'-type office space, despite having to deal with loud coworkers. People who are not and have never been married seem to like working in a cubicle alongside their coworkers (43 percent), and men are more likely to want to work alongside colleagues than women.

"Face-time and group collaboration are critical to success, but it's interesting to see the significant value placed on fostering concentration and limiting outside static," Ross said. "It's important for today's employers to adapt environments to effectively strike that balance."

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