Top 5 tips to stay sociable and productive in a busy office

Having a job somewhere where you are surrounded by friends, conversation and social activities can make a visit to the office feel like not much work at all. However, when a social workplace environment gets in the way of your productivity, some people can feel stressed about not hitting their goals.

One report from earlier in 2023 found that 33% of UK workers felt that failing to keep up with their workload causes stress which had an impact on their productivity.

This issue has become even more prevalent in a post-lockdown world. As more workplaces have adopted a hybrid working environment (a mix of working from home and office-based), some workers are beginning to see coming into the office as a social event of its own.

In conjunction with the team at we provide five simple tips to help you stay productive while remaining sociable in the workplace.

1. Set boundaries and remember that saying no is fine

Be clear with your colleagues about the periods when you are really busy and simply can’t stop to chat. It’s more than likely that they are in the same boat as you, and could benefit from the reminder to focus on their tasks too.

During times that you really cannot be disturbed, consider ways that you can avoid people trying to distract you such as putting on headphones, turning off your notifications or – if possible – putting up a ‘do not disturb’ sign at your desk.

2. Take regular breaks

Sitting at your desk or staring at a computer screen for a prolonged period of time can make you want to procrastinate by starting or getting involved in conversations with people around you.

Allowing yourself to take regular short breaks throughout the day can actually help to boost your productivity as long as you remember to stay completely focused when you are working.

Be it stretching your legs with a walk to the coffee shop, doing fifteen minutes of exercise or simply having a natter with your colleagues, scheduling these breaks into your daily work routine can help to alleviate stress, and improve your productivity.

3. Avoid multitasking

While it seems like you are getting more done by handling two tasks at the same time, the reality is that each of these tasks is serving as a distraction from the other one, meaning you are not giving 100% attention to either task.

This can ring particularly true if you are working in a social environment where regular distractions can leave you unsure of which task to get back to when you do regain your focus.

Devoting your attention to just one task at a time is going to help you with your productivity in the long run. Not only are you more likely to get these individual tasks done more quickly, but you are also more likely to get them done at a better quality.

4. Stay organised

Keeping both your schedule and your space organised is going to help you be more productive and avoid distractions throughout the day, particularly if you work in the sort of place where your colleagues are likely to distract you.

Organise your time effectively by setting specific times to do certain tasks such as checking your emails or responding to messages between colleagues to avoid getting sidetracked during working hours.

You will also see your productivity soar if you physically organise your workspace. Keeping your desk clear of clutter will help you focus on the task at hand and relieve stress in the process.

5. Use tools and apps

Fortunately, we live in the modern world and there are now plenty of tools and apps available to help us avoid distractions and stay on track at work.

Serene is one example of an app that can literally help you to block out outside noises while at work. When you activate Serene, the software automatically blocks out any digital distractions like certain websites and apps.

There are also plenty of apps and software which can help you to organise your time and tasks throughout your working day, to streamline your focus and avoid distractions.



Chris Price