Studies on Attention Spans for Task Concentration?

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about attention span:

Has there been any general studies reported on the performance span of office workers. I.E. is the average period for best performance of a task before performance declines say 20 minutes or whatever? Do you have any survey information on this? Thanks

Signed, Wondering

Dear Wondering:

We don’t have any studies related to the issue of how long attention and performance is maintained at work. We specialize in workplace communication issues and are not currently involved in research. All I know, based on observation is that we usually can do what we want to do or think we must do. When we lose a desire to do something or feel it isn’t necessary to keep working, we tend to taper off in interest and in work level. But, that’s just my opinion and not the result of research! In addition, it seems logical that the nature of the task would have a lot to do with performance and performance fatigue or loss of interest in working.

The goal of an effective supervisor or manager is to help employees maintain interest in working and a feeling that the work is important. In that way employees are more likely to stay focused and to maintain high levels of performance.Best wishes to you!

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina Lewis Rowe

Tina had a thirty-three year career in law enforcement, serving with the Denver Police Department from 1969-1994 and was the Presidential United States Marshal for Colorado from 1994-2002. She provides training to law enforcement organizations and private sector groups and does conference presentations related to leadership, workplace communications and customized topics. Her style is inspirational with humor.