While many of us would probably prefer a private office with a door, open-plan offices are becoming more and more common in businesses worldwide. The benefits are clear: they are cost-effective, improve communication and collaboration, reduce ‘loafing’ and can increase productivity. There is also a downside: it can be difficult to concentrate with overwhelming distractions like phones ringing, colleagues talking and walking around and office equipment running. Last week I spoke about being mindful and with this in mind ;), I thought it was time to remind ourselves of some basics that can help us all take Key Steps to…

Curb Noise Pollution

1.Keep the noise level down. Don’t use speaker phone (find private venues for conference calls) and mute the sounds on your PC (incoming email alarms can drive colleagues crazy). And remember that others can hear your phone conversations, so keep your voice down.

2.Manage your phones. The ringing of desk phones and mobile phones is one of the main sources of noise in an open plan office, so be considerate. Turn down the volume of your phone, answer it within three rings and if you will be away from your desk for a long period of time, have your phone diverted directly to voicemail or an alternative number.

3.Minimise distractions. As mentioned, using earphones helps to avoid disturbing others and it’s a great way to block out office noise. Listen to music, or try the free SimplyNoise white noise generator to mask sounds.

We all contribute and call all reduce the noise levels in our office. Let’s take key steps together this week and…

“be the difference that makes the difference