How to Properly Interrupt a Person’s Workday
Interruptions at work can be aggravating, unpleasant, and stressful. However, Interruptions in the workplace are frequently essential to provide someone with the knowledge and real-time collaboration required to complete their tasks. According to Dr. Jordan Sudberg, interruptions do not have to be unpleasant.
Participants who experienced positive interruptions indicated how these events made them feel happy, excited, or satisfied. How someone reacts to an interruption is highly dependent on how it affects their work. While changing gears and rearranging their schedules to meet an unexpected assignment might be inconvenient, interruptions can be beneficial if they appear to be a productive use of someone’s time. Interruptions are also more likely to be good if they fit more readily into a person’s day.
The following considerations can help a person improve the way they interrupt, therefore, improving the likelihood that the interruption will be well received:
Determining the task’s importance.
If the activity they’re being asked to accomplish looks significant — especially if it seems more important than whatever they were working on previously — people are more inclined to consider an interruption worthwhile. So, before interrupting someone, think about whether or not what you want them to do is a high priority for them.
Do not go overboard.
Dr. Jordan Sudberg discovered that people are more likely to react badly to an interruption if it occurs while they are already overburdened. Ask yourself what you know about the person’s present workload to avoid heaping on. Consider interrupting someone else or waiting till the person has less on their plate if you know they are overworked.
Choose the appropriate person to interrupt.
It’s aggravating when someone is interrupted by someone to find out that they are not the right person. So, before someone goes knocking on someone’s door, they should consider whether this is the proper person for the job. If someone does the legwork ahead of time to figure out who the best person to ask is, their interruption is far more likely to be well-received.
Pay attention to busyness cues.
Research has indicated that interruptions are more positively received when they occur correctly. That usually means waiting for a moment when the person to be interrupted isn’t deeply engrossed in another task or when they need a break from their regular work. Pay attention to the individual’s signals to assess if it’s an appropriate time to interrupt.
Reduce the time commitment.
Interruptions that seem to linger on or take longer than they should are more likely to elicit negative emotions. To handle this, someone should consider how to make the best use of the person’s time. Presenting the interruption to emphasize respect for a person’s time can significantly impact how they react.
Provide advance notice.
Interruptions don’t have to be completely unexpected; in some circumstances, a person can let someone know ahead of time that they expect an interruption. Even if the exact timeframe is still unknown, this helps someone mentally plan for the disruption and create time for the work.