29 Aug How to survive in an open office when you need alone time

While open offices can provide a positive work environment filled with collaborative group efforts, open spaces can also be noisy and invasive. For those who prefer quit reflection and privacy while working, it may take a while to adjust to your new open-spaced domain.
Open offices have actually been around since the mid-1900s, but the trend we now know began in the 1990s as a response to research that implied open work environment s increased creativity and fostered a greater sense of community among coworkers. At that time, computers were likewise becoming smaller, allowing companies to reduce the size of their employees’ workspaces, furthering the fervor for open offices.
Although working in an open office may never feel completely comfortable, here are a few tools to help you cope with some of the downsides:

  1. Have a signal.There are few things as frustrating as having an important call when your coworkers decide to share loud jokes beside you. Having a public signal that will allow you to signal to your coworkers to keep their voices down while you’re in a conversation. This should help minimize the number of distractions around you while you’re trying to listen.
  2. Wear headphones.Not only can headphones serve as an indicator you’d rather not be disturbed, noise-reduction headphones can also block out much of the distracting noise around you, helping you to stay productive even when your coworkers are having noisy conversations around you.
  3. Make your space yours, even if it’s shared.Just because you’re sharing a space doesn’t mean you can’t take some ownership of your little nook. Throw up a few decorations that remind you of something you love. Just make sure your decor is office appropriate.
  4. Shield your space.For days when you really need to concentrate without interruptions, use an everyday object, like a large book or a plant, and post it on your desk to shield yourself from your neighbor. Use this as a “do not disturb sign.”
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