Open work spaces are all the rage. Leave office doors open! Lower the cubicle walls! These are great ways to encourage collaboration and transparency, but they can also lead to noisy offices.
Here are three ways to drown out the racket and stay focused:
Put on a headset.
Music may be too distracting, but try talk radio turned low. The babble of voices can make a good sound absorber. Or try one of the many free, web-based white-noise generators.
Get a white-noise machine.
They’re mainly marketed as sleep aids, but you can use them in the office, too. Place one next to your desk or at the open door to your office.
Keep it down.
You also generate noise that may bother others. Remember that the next time you pick up the phone or have a desk-side conversation.
Adapted from “Noise at the Office: How to Cope” by Patrick J. Skerrett.