CareerBuilder.com offers these tips to eliminate excess noise at work when you don't have an office door to close.
- White Noise -- If colleague conversations and ringing phones have you reading the same sentence over and over, try purchasing a white noise CD to play in your computer.
- Radio/CDs/MP3s -- If your company allows it, download a media player onto your computer, bring in a small radio or listen to some of your favorite CDs.
- Plants -- Plants are good at absorbing noise. Talk to your office manager about getting some greenery in the office to help take the edge off the hubbub -- and they look nice too!
- Nonreflective Surfaces -- Make some noise of your own and consult the facilities manager about putting some noise absorption materials in your office, such as carpets, curtains, dividers or acoustic ceiling panels.
- Confront the Culprit -- If it's just one person in the office who is making all the noise, talk to him or her and explain your situation. They may not even be aware of how loud they are.
- Set Up a Noise-Free Zone -- Perhaps you and your colleagues can designate a particular conference room or area that can be used to escape the noise. It's always good to have a quiet place to consult with clients or interview candidates.
- Noise-Canceling Products -- There are many products out there that can help with the vexing problem of noise pollution. From small, lightweight headsets to varying types of earplugs, these devices can be used to reduce annoying noise.
- Move It and Lose It -- If an ill-placed copy machine is causing too much traffic, or an over-burdened fax machine rings constantly, check with office services about the possibility of relocating the noise-maker. If that won't work, see if you can relocate your work station further away from the machines.
- Post a Sign -- Simple and friendly "quiet" signs in hallways and outside conference rooms will help remind co-workers to keep it down when leaving a meeting, heading down the hallway or grabbing a cup of coffee.