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Ask Entrepreneur

Do Not Disturb: This Indicator Light Tells Co-Workers When You Can and Can't Talk

Do Not Disturb: This Indicator Light Tells Co-Workers When You Can and Can't Talk
Image credit: Luxafor
Former West Coast Editor
2 min read

Classic open-office employee conundrum: You’re at your desk, but you’re in a rut. Finally, the muse strikes. You hit your stride. You’re cranking out your work like nobody’s business. Then, out of the blue, a co-worker meanders over and fills your ear about this, that and the other thing. Or about last night’s insane Portlandia episode. Or whatever. And now, you have completely lost your focus.

What if you could stop annoying workplace interruptions like these before they start? With a nifty Luxafor LED workplace indicator light stuck to your laptop or computer screen, you could.

Related: The 4 Biggest Productivity Killers in Your Office

Luxafor’s clever light, which connects to your computer via USB or Bluetooth, communicates to your co-workers when it’s okay to talk to you and when it’s not. Kind of like a traffic stoplight, the little, rectangular plastic unit shines green when you’re all ears and red when you’re not.

Its makers, Draugiem Group, a Latvian tech-design startup, say Luxafor can also be programmed to notify you of emails, product orders, calendar reminders and the like. You can work it manually on your own, or set it to change colors automatically by pairing it with a Luxafor partner productivity app.  

Related: Cubicles Were Originally Designed to Set Us Free, Now They're Slowly Killing Us

As you might’ve guessed, Luxafor was invented by open-office workers who were fed up with productivity-undermining interruptions from colleagues. And their beef isn’t really that petty, not when you consider that the average worker requires a whopping 23 minutes or so to get back into the swing of things following an interruption.  

The light, on Kickstarter now with 26 days to go, isn’t a particularly fancy or socially elegant solution, but it sure beats asking your co-workers to talk to the hand or flipping them the bird, like a really busy guy seems to do in Luxafor’s cheeky Kickstarter video. Check it out below, then hurry up and get back to work. You don’t want your co-workers thinking you have a minute to shoot the breeze (or to preorder your very own Luxafor for $21, plus $5 shipping).

Related: 5 Ways to Promote Yourself at Work Without Bragging

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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