Do you struggle to concentrate for long periods at work because your office is too noisy? Or become irritable because of constant distraction and working longer to catch up?
I considered office noise after two interviews last week. The first, by phone, was a mess. Loud background noise made it hard to hear and the interviewee asked two colleagues who chatted near his desk to move on.
The second interview, in person, was at a CBD office tower. The useless open-plan office format had few meeting rooms, so the interview was held at a spare desk. Constant noise and worker interactions made it hard for the interviewee to concentrate.
I wondered how people who are susceptible to high office noise maintain their productivity. Some people need quiet spaces to perform, yet modern offices have hardly any.
The open-plan office, with its lack of offices, partitions and other noise-absorbing devices, is the main culprit in the war on noise. The push to create more collaborative, creative workplaces has made some employees feel like battery chickens.