4 Tips to Handle Irritating Colleagues, Noisy Office Environment
Boisterous, irritating colleagues and a noisy office environment are common problems at the workplace. How do you handle "noise" in the office? Check out these tips below.
Keep out the noise
If possible, wear a headset or headphone when you need to concentrate. Some may even prefer earplugs but that would be a little extreme and your colleagues might view you as an anti-social who does not want to mix with them. Most offices now allow the use of a headset or headphone. Listen to your favourite music and keep the noise out. That way, you can concentrate better on the job at hand and meet the deadline.
Tell Them to Shut up, Gently
If you need some peace or require a little less noise in the office in order to work, talk to your colleagues and get their cooperation to tone down their conversation. Do it tactfully so as not to offend them. Do it professionally and inform them that you would appreciate some quiet for you to concentrate on an urgent job, and do it firmly by keeping your tone firm, yet level. Do not raise your voice or show your frustration as it would reflect your unprofessionalism.
Your colleagues do not owe it to you to be quiet. You are requesting them to help you out by keeping down their voices. Hence, you should not show a sulky face or let your anger take over. This way you can get your work done in peace without offending anyone.
Embrace the Noise
The adage "If you can't beat them, join them" will be very tempting to apply in this situation but the bottom line is, you still have a task to complete and the deadline is looming just ahead.
Embrace the noise around you by mentally blocking out the noise around you and fully concentrate on the task at hand. Ever wonder how news reporters in a noisy newsroom write their news articles with the news editors breathing down their neck, rushing to meet the deadline? They have learnt to ignore the "noise" around them and know the urgency of the matter at hand, i.e. the breaking news which should be out before the other competitors get hold of it, push them to just concentrate on the article and everything else falls into the background.
Master the art of "mental noise block", a skill which will come in handy for you to function anywhere, anyplace, regardless of the environment and still be able to produce an optimum performance.
Talk to the Authority
Apply this tip only if all else fail and the situation gets out of control. Talk to the relevant authority in the organisation about the unconducive working environment which has hampered your ability to concentrate at work. If you do not know who to talk to, approach your immediate superior and explain to him/her about your predicament. Let him/her decide on the next step to take, be it to talk to your colleagues' superior or bring it up in the management meeting.
Approach this topic with tact as you do not wish to be seen as a "tell tale" who tells on others or a "whiner" who complains all the small matters to the boss or the "social outcast" who cannot bear to see others talking and enjoying their social interaction at work.