Here's Why You Should Think Twice Before Helping Someone At Work

A helping hand hr

When you help others, it supposedly benefits you as well because you feel good about yourself. 

This may be true in most situations in life, but not in the office. Taking time to help out a struggling coworker can set you back, as you’ll be disturbed several times throughout a day and could lose track of what you’re doing. 

A recently released study conducted by German and Swiss researchers say that “participants who requested help with a task performed better, while those who supplied assistance did worse.”

In fact, it doesn’t benefit the helpers at all with work, because they are constantly having to “reacquaint themselves with the details of their own task.” If this happens frequently enough, these people will end up suffering from “cognitive load.”

Yes, you might be building connections with your coworkers as you show them the ropes, but it’s important to make sure you’re on top of your own duties. 

However, as more office spaces are adopting open layouts to encourage communication and interactions between coworkers, it may be hard to ignore someone requesting your help. To deal with this, the researchers say that you should “set aside a block of time each day when [you’re] not to be disturbed.”

Basically, for several hours a day, everyday, you need to put in your ear buds and ignore everyone else around you.

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