Are these workplace distractions lurking in your office?

Is your organization a victim of these common but unexpected workplace distractions? Here's what to look for, and how to eliminate them fast.

Business leaders, people managers and individual contributors all suffer from the same productivity killers, leaving everyone feeling stressed and overworked. Factors like poorly planned meetings, constantly checking email and rigid work schedules can make an entire team or department feel unproductive in a very busy work environment.

Another consequence of being unproductive at work is putting in extra hours on the job. Full-time U.S. workers already say they work 47 hours weekly, almost a full workday longer than a standard five-day workweek. But are more work hours really leading to more work being done?

Here are four subtle workplace distractions lurking around your workplace that you should eliminate right away.

1. Workplace Gossip

Chatting among co-workers about the latest company news or industry trends is one thing, and negative gossip is another. No department can endure the harmful effects a rumormonger has on productivity, especially when individuals make time to gossip during precious work hours. To make sure workplace gossip isn't getting in the way of productivity, find ways to encourage positive gossip. For example, use staff meetings and team huddles to have team member share positive stories about their work and accomplishments.

2. Instant Message or Email Alerts

With all of the digital devices and apps at our disposal, it's easy to get wrapped up in the many notifications that pop up throughout the day--the biggest productivity killer being the ongoing influx of instant messages and email alerts. A quick fix is to turn off automated email alerts that notify you of an incoming message, even if you have your email tab closed. Additionally, sign out of instant messaging when you need time to focus.

3. Micromanagers

People with tendencies to micromanage, whether that's micromanaging a project or a group of people, can have a harrowing impact on productivity. Having to update a manager on every project-related task or failing to delegate can make it extremely difficult or time-consuming to complete even the simplest tasks. If you think people managers and project managers on your team are guilty of micromanaging, encourage them to get feedback from their direct reports on their management style, and help them prioritize the projects that matter as well we those that don't.

RELATED: If you want to make some extra cash, check out some interesting ways you can get rich in the slideshow below:

20 unusual ways to make quick money
See Gallery
20 unusual ways to make quick money

Dog-sitting, babysitting, or house-sitting

These jobs are always in high demand, and the best part: you can name your price and create your own schedule! Post an ad on craigslist, or use your friends' and family's connections to get your name out there. 

Photo via Getty

Rent out your space 

List your apartment on Airbnb or another rental site, and make some easy cash by staying at a friends and renting out your place for the weekend.

Photo via AOL

Share your space

Just as you can rent out your full apartment or house, you can also post a free room (or even just your couch!) on sites like Craigslist or Airbnb. This way you can split your living expenses -- and maybe even make a new friend!

Photo via Getty

Sell your body parts

Now here's a weird one: Donate your hair, breast milk, or even plasma for a profit. According to Grifols, if you're healthy and weigh above 110 pounds, you can earn up to $200 a month donating your plasma to life-saving medicine. 

Photo via Getty

Sign up to participate in medical tests and clinical trials. 

Universities constantly need volunteers to test new medicines and treatments -- and because the pool of willing participants is limited, there is typically a large compensation for being a guinea pig. 

Photo via Getty

Participate in a focus group

Companies and organizations will pay you to join a focus group. These can be conducted in person, online, or via phone. You will most likely be reimbursed in cash or gift cards -- plus, you often get to test out fun new products! 

Photo via Getty

Take online surveys

Similar to focus groups, you can get paid to give your time and insights on an online questionairre. Plus, you can do this from the comfort of your couch. 

Photo via Getty

Bank on your sperm

Although we don't necessarily recommend this option, there is a very high demand for healthy sperm donors. Keep in mind some of the obvious drawbacks, but sperm donation is non-invasive and highly compensated. 

Photo via Getty

Crowdfund your dreams

Crowdfunding allows you to raise monetary contributions from a large group of people who want to support your venture. Post your project or idea on a crowdfund site, like, and see the cash pile up.

Photo via Getty

Become a tutor

If you're qualified, post an ad online or on a community board to tutor children on their school courses or for the upcoming SATs.

Photo via Getty

Get a part-time job

Capitalize your free time (on the weekends or after work hours) by working a part-time job. A bartender, waiter, or Uber driver are all great options for an additional source of income -- and great tips! 

Photo via Getty

Resell tickets

Take this suggestion at your own risk: If you're staying within legal limits, buy tickets low and sell high as an effective way to source additional money. (Just make sure to check your state and local laws first!)

Photo via Getty

You can sell anything on the internet these days... including your companionship! Get paid to go on a platonic outing for a few hours and enjoy your afternoon with a new friend. 

Photo via Getty

Rent out your parking spot

Make sure to check with your landlord first, but if you have the option to park your own car further away, lend or share your parking space or driveway for the hour, day, or even month! 

Photo via Getty

Keep a coin jar 

This one takes patience before a big pay out, but keep a spare jar or drawer for loose change that you usually toss anyway. It will keep it all in one place -- and those quarters do add up! 

Photo via Getty

Make something to sell 

If you have a knack for arts & crafts, create jewelry or other handmade gifts to sell on sites filled with other thrifty vendors like Etsy

Photo via Getty

Sell items online

This effective strategy requires low effort with a high return. Post photos of your used or non-used items on sites like eBay or Craigslist, and let the bidding begin! 

Photo via Getty

Have a yard sale

Sell clutter you've been meaning to get rid of right in your front yard. This simple tactic is convenient, and guarantees a wad of cash right to your pocket.  

Photo via Getty

Return past purchases

This tip may seem obvious, but is often overlooked: Take your recently-purchased items that are laying around back to the store for either store credit or a full refund. 

Recycle scrap metal and cans

Collect cans and scrap metal out your own garbage, basement, and street and bring to your local recycler to exchange your findings for money.  

Photo via Getty


4. Inefficient Office Arrangements

Your office setup, from seating arrangements to how you map out your conference rooms, can mean the difference between efficient collaboration and frustrated employees because they can't quickly connect with co-workers to get things done.

Open office seating, for one, makes it easier for employees to collaborate and communicate, rather than having to hunt down a colleague in a cubicle. Carefully evaluate your office layout and the impact it can have on your team's efficiency and their ability to connect to get work done faster.

Many workplace factors can hinder and help productivity. But by keeping an eye out for these subtle distractions that could be keeping your team's productivity at bay, you can quickly and hopefully easily resolve them.

More from
Want to Live Longer? Science Says Eat This
Ikea's New Commercial Is the Funniest Thing You'll See Today
The 5 Hottest New Stars of Boston's $41 Billion Startup Market​​​​​​

Read Full Story