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9 Tips for Overcoming Workplace Noise


When you work in a busy office with lots of cubicles, the background noise can make it difficult to concentrate. Imagine this; the person on your right is on a phone call, the person on your left is playing their new favorite song for the third time in a row, and the person directly across from you is suffering from a cough you really hope isn’t bronchitis. Already feeling stressed out? Check out this list of tips for overcoming a noisy office so that you can get your work done (and maintain your sanity).

  1. Invest in noise-canceling headphones

Investing in a set of noise-canceling headphones is the most common way that employees can overcome a noisy office. The option to switch back and forth between music and quiet is especially ideal for those who perform tasks that call for varying levels of concentration throughout their workday.

  1. Post a polite do-not-disturb note

Put up a note indicating that you’re working on something important and can’t be interrupted. The strategy here is that the note will serve as a reminder for you your colleagues to keep the volume down when they’re in your area.

overcoming workplace noise

  1. Create a quiet location

Office noise is inevitable. Some employees are immune to it while others need their quiet time. Creating a quiet space is a fantastic way to provide a sanctuary for employees who need a little time away from the hustle and bustle of the day. These areas can take the form of a designated room where only whispering is allowed to unique furniture pods that make the employee feel as though they’re on an island. A very quiet island.

overcoming workplace noise

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  1. Work on key projects during times when fewer people are around

Most office noise coincides with times that everyone is at work. Take advantage of this by working on important tasks early in the morning, over lunch or late in the day.

  1. Add fabrics, rugs, and pillows to the décor

As noise travels around the workplace, it bounces off hard surfaces. A strategically placed rug, carpeting, and fabric décor can help cut down on unwanted sounds.

  1. Get a white noise machine

Call centers often broadcast white noise to help drown out individual sounds by playing a low-level, soft static noise across the entire office. White noise machines can also be effective inside an individual cubicle. They emit soft, unnoticeable sounds that are often very effective at balancing what your ears detect.  Best of all, they’re fairly affordable.

  1. Update your office cubicles

When a great number of people are together in an area with limited space, it can quickly get noisy. Consider cubicles with higher panels or even more panels for added privacy and less noise.

overcoming workplace noise with cubicles

  1. Speak up

If the source of noise is limited to a few unwitting offenders, consider having a private conversation to politely request that they attempt lowering their volume. Sometimes colleagues go about their business unaware they’re causing discomfort to others. Bringing the topic up can be awkward, but it also might just be the reminder some folks need.

  1. Work from home

You may consider asking your boss if you could potentially work from home on certain days so that you can maximize productivity. Working from home and flexible scheduling have become very popular in recent years and can often provide an easy fix to inner-office noise issues.

We Can Help

Often, a quick fix for alleviating noise concerns can be as easy as changing the arrangement of office furniture and making some updates. At Office Furniture EZ, we are experts in office planning and design. By requesting a free site survey, we’ll come to your office and make recommendations on how to get the most out of your space in terms of density and production. Don’t wait, contact us today!


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