Now, a device to keep chatty coworkers at bay

| January 29, 2015

Fact 1 – In a survey conducted by on American workers, ‘noisy colleagues’ cut to the top of workplace distractions list leaving phone calls and social media behind.

Fact 2 – Another survey by University of California concluded that it takes about 25 minutes for an average worker to refocus on work after she has been distracted.

Fact 3 – The survey also established that despite wanting to work in isolation, between 27 and 39 percent of employees (depending on age) still preferred to work in an open-plan office.

The survey results indicate that people want to work in open-plan offices but don’t want to be bothered by its perils of frequent distraction and low efficiency.

Enter Luxafor, a slightly impolite but practical solution to keeping distractions at bay and staying focused to increase productivity.

A Latvian startup invented the device that clips onto your monitor and glows green to tell your coworkers when you can be approached, or red to let others know you are busy, much like your instant messenger’s busy/available/away status indicator. The small gadget can also sync via USB or Bluetooth to flash with the arrival of new emails and notifications.

Luxafor is new on the market, but open-plan office workers have been using other subtle, or even blatant, signals to ward off chatty coworkers, like noise-cancelling headphones, for example. Luxafor’s inventors faced open-office issues that led them to put angry red flags and “do not disturb signs” on work stations — something that probably sowed the seeds for a more sophisticated, commercial device. Cubeguard is another commercial seller that keeps colleagues apprised of your availability. And that’s not all: some people have resorted to very creative means of indicating work status like flags in flower pots, magnets, and stacks of cubes.

The project on Kickstarter still hasn’t gotten all the funding it needs, but Luxafor’s low cost and practical application may make it suitable for just about every open office in the world.

Tags: , ,

Category: New Products, Office courtesy

Comments are closed.