Whether it's a co-worker singing or taking a conference call from their desk, working in an open office environment can sometimes be distracting and disturbing to your work day. If you're looking for ways to focus on your work without straining your professional relationships, try the following tips.
Although it’s still noise, picking your favorite calming music may be less distracting than your co-workers. Some people also find it easier to concentrate when listening to music without words, so maybe try classical music. Internet radio stations are a great source for all kinds of genres and styles of music.
Go for a quick walk.
If you're feeling frustrated or unable to complete your work, sometimes going for a quick walk will help clear your head and help you refocus when you get back. Also, by the time you return, your co-worker may have wrapped up their distracting activity.
Snack on some chips.
The loud chomping may help drown out the noise and help you concentrate.
Find an open office or room.
If you have a laptop, temporarily relocating to an empty room may help you complete the task you're focusing on and reduce your stress. Leave a note on your desk or chair to let people know where you are so people don't think you've disappeared.
Politely ask your co-worker to quiet down.
This is the most obvious but least traveled road. If you nicely ask your co-worker to pipe down (make sure to smile), they may realize they're being loud and lower their volume.
The fact is, you are not alone. Everyone in an open office environment gets disturbed from time to time. Show your co-workers common courtesy and they will do the same.