I am an office worker. I get distracted by work-related notifications all day: Email and Skype are the worst culprits. Meetings are a close second.
The notifications bing, ring and flash. All techniques to draw your attention away from your actual ‘work’.
This isn’t a one-way thing either. We are all guilty of these.
An answer to help improve the environment: Don’t have these systems notify you. Turn them off, and only turn them on when it suits you. Is your second screen used for email and IM? Use it for something else.
Seclude yourself if possible. Close a door, find a quiet space, put some headphones on. It’ll reduce office distractions even more. Plus, you’ll ‘look’ busier and people may be less likely to come over and distract you. I’ve used this technique in the past with great effect.
You see that sign, you don’t disturb that person. Feel the wrath if you do, like a spectator stopping a marathon runner!
Meetings are harder to avoid, and probably the subject for another time. The only advatage to these are that they are scheduled so you can plan your productive time around them.