10 Tips For Dealing With Office ADD
But the condition is one of the most alarming threats to productivity that modem businesses face and it could well be here to stay. We have joined forces with stress therapist Ros Coleman to investigate if office┬áADD is an unavoidable consequence of modem office life or a condition that companies and individuals can avoid by taking the correct measures.
So what exactly is office ADD? The term was first coined last year by American psychiatrist Dr Ned Hallowell, who noticed that office workers were reporting symptoms consistent with attention deficit disorder – a neuro-behavioral condition that usually develops in childhood and is prevalent in 1 to 3 per cent of the world’s population. Symptoms include a poor eye for detail, forgetfulness, short attention span, listening problems, an inability to follow simple instructions, poor organisational skills, avoidance of tasks involving mental effort and the loss of important information.
Everyone has a breaking point when put under a tot of stress. When this point is crossed, we literally break down and our attention diminishes. The good news is that there are measures businesses can take to help their employees regain control of their lives and manage their workloads. Ros agrees: “A significant reason for the symptoms of “Office ADD’ appearing more prevalent today could be because of the incredible advancements in technology we have had to adapt to. On the up side, it is fantastic that we now have access to virtually any information immediately. On the down side, employers expect information immediately, often to unrealistic deadlines. “As the pressure increases, it is taking its toll. In the UK, one in six people report their jobs to be either very or extremely stressful and work-related stress accounts for one third of all new incidents of ill-health. This includes mild to severe mental and/or physical health problems,emotional exhaustion and burnout.”
We are offering this advice to office staff:
- Prioritise your workload daily
- Set aside time to go through your e-mails each day
- Respond to new e-mails immediately
- If your body is telling you to stop, don’t ignore it
- Take regular breaks, leave your desk and drink plenty of fluids.
- Communicate with your boss and with your colleagues.
And the following advice to employers;
- Become aware of the symptoms of office ADD, their effects and what to do about them
- Regularly consult individual employees to see if they are coping well with their tasks and have been adequately trained
- If they are having problems, try to work something out
- If they are experiencing pressures outside work, offer them support where you can.