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New Ask.com Study Reveals Workplace Productivity Killers

OAKLAND, Calif., May 7, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --  Ask.com, a leading online brand for questions and answers, today announced the results of its Office Workplace Productivity study, which reveals the preferences and habits of American office workers when it comes to an optimally productive workplace environment.

Among the key findings: 86 percent of respondents 1  prefer to work alone to hit maximum productivity, suggesting that, while group-oriented workplace perks like foosball and bean bag lounges have become popular tools for unlocking creativity and boosting morale, they don't always drive efficiency. Additionally, the preference to work from home isn't as prevalent as it may seem; a majority of respondents prefer to spend "focus time" in their personal workspace (63 percent) as compared to those who'd rather work at home (29 percent).

The study was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Ask.com among 2,060 adults ages 18 and older in March 2013.

"This research gives us broader context when thinking about the workplace culture we're trying to foster," said Lisa Ross, vice president of human resources at Ask.com. "It also yielded some unexpected findings. For example, while working from home policies have been hotly debated in the media, it appears most office workers actually prefer working in an office environment, as long as companies facilitate focus time and minimize distractions."

The study indicates that distractions tend to come in the form of noisy colleagues (61 percent). In addition to cherishing alone time, it appears many office employees who have a boss need distance from their managers, with 20 percent saying they would prefer to have more work responsibilities than sit alongside their bosses. Even when colleagues are nearby, nearly one-half (46 percent) of respondents report they mostly communicate with them through IM, e-mail or phone over face-to-face interaction. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) of respondents signal meeting fatigue, claiming to spend more time in meetings discussing work than actually executing it.

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