Noisy, talky, and Mr. inconsiderate! Know these three coworkers? Some people at work seem to have no consideration when it comes to other people in the office trying to work. Noisy people top the main complaints from office employees, about the distractions at work that reduce their productivity rates.
An article in the Journal of Applied Psychology on, Stress and Open-office Noise, concluded what many of us already knew from experience – “Noisy coworkers can make it impossible to work.” The study of forty office workers found that workers in noisy open space type office settings, had reduced motivation factors; in other words, low productivity! Open space office formats, are notorious for being noisy but interactive workplaces. But even if you’re trapped in your own personal box in a standard cubical farm office layout, noise is still a factor in distracting and reducing productivity when excessive noise travels across the office room. Here are three reasons why office noise can reduce your productivity.
1. Lost Concentration
A 2015, BBC News Business article, quoted Professor Gloria Mark of the Department of Informatics at the University of California as saying that. “Email, social media, notifications, and countless other digital distractions are eroding our ability to concentrate on individual tasks in the 21st Century.” I think all of us can agree that our well-meaning social media electronics get in the way with what could be productive work lives, especially when we get too attached to them – OR IN WORSE CASE SCENARIOS, WAY TOO OBSESSED!
There is a time for social media and it isn’t in the workplace. Social Media is best enjoyed at home relaxing after work or on the weekend. The only internet action that should be going on at work, is either accessing something for a client or researching something for your work, not playing Candy Crush, or posting something on Facebook like: “Hey Kickin it at Work bro!, I’m Sooooooh Booooored.” Shut it down and remove the temptation to social media.
Cellphones are just as bad. Unless it’s a work phone, turn it off! If it is a work phone, keep personal phone calls off of it. Many of us have kids in the workplace, but the one’s that do, also know of all the needless “Can’t Wait!,” supposed emergencies that kids call into your work for on your cellphone, just because they want to go to their new friends’ house for movie night. Don’t think your boss doesn’t notice it too, or that it doesn’t influence him on your quarterly or yearly work review.
2. Hindered Communication
The second most irritating concentration and customer service breaker is not being able to hear what either your coworkers are saying, or more importantly, what your clients or customers are trying to ask you over the phone. Technically, if an office needs a quiet zone or a phone room, there’s an excessive amount of noise going on in that workplace.
This is why it is better to at least insist on upholding some sort of moderate noise level. No one expects total silence in a busy office, but there should be some standard of expectations on your part, if expected by your employer to work to your fullest productivity level. It is only fair that you have some say in your working environment. This is why it is best to quietly try to solve any noise problems yourself before resorting to going to management.
Pull the offending excessive noise making worker aside first, so as not to create any opposite sides between other coworkers. Talk it out low keyed and rationally. If that doesn’t work, then in extreme measures, strength in numbers may be required in order to bring the problem up with management. Keeping calm is always the best policy when trying to communicate with others in the workplace. It is always important to get along, both for productivity, and the entire office morale.
3. Divided Community
The workplace is like a miniature community, even if it is a large corporation. Work sections are normally put together in specialized groups, and those groups divided into teams. When excessive noise becomes a negative argumentative issue between two individuals or group, infighting becomes more prevalent in the workplace, and then productivity goes out the window.
Music is a wonderful thing, and it is tempting at work to kick up the tunes and get your work on. But the truth is music is a matter of taste. The feud between Rock and Rap has been going on since before some coworkers have even been born. The last thing a workplace needs is a running competition between two workplace factions who face off over Jamming vs. Bumping. Unfortunately, music can be very divisive. It can also be a major distraction and a productivity killer for other workers as well.
Excessive loud talking is also a persistent productivity drain at work. There are always those one or two people at work, that just don’t seem to get it that they can have a conversation without shouting it across the room while everyone else is trying to concentrate. These people are not hard of hearing, just hard headed. They just can’t seem to respect anybody else’s right to be able to focus on their work in peace. No one can possibly keep up with their productivity level with two bozos’ loudly talking about their antics over the weekend.
No one ever wants to get into a confrontation at work with another employee, but your job relies on your ability to produce, so it is unwise to just let it go while your production suffers. Stand up for yourself, but do it in a way that highlights your problem solving skills to your coworkers and employers, rather than get caught up in a problem at work over noisy coworkers continuing to ruin your productivity and peace of mind.