How You Can Survive an Open Office

Open offices, one of the most popular layouts of the 21st century. It saves on space and that is the end of the positive effects of open offices. Okay, it is sort of nice to be able to arrest your coworkers’ attention without having to knock on an office door. This is often mistaken for “collaborative spirit” and studies have shown that open plan offices decrease face to face interactions.

Have I made it clear I really don’t like open offices? It’s a personal policy to see any office I may end up working at and I think I would turn down all but a near perfect position if it was in an open office.

First of all, there’s the sights and sounds. Seeing people running around and hearing them take phone calls, listen to the radio, and eat lunch at their desks is distracting and disruptive. The most important thing to do here though is to be as considerate as you would like others to be. Wear headphones, take your lunch in a break area (if available), and try to limit the noise you make.

If you can, find a safe place. There was an internet cafe at a previous place of work that was my refuge from the hectic open office area. If you can, head to a nearby coffee shop or similar establishment. Need a break? See if you can work remotely from home.

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