After sitting on a packed train to London, Fiona’s been thinking about all the different distractions around us and the way it affects our work.
I want you to picture your work environment for a moment. Do you work in a cubicle or have your own office? Or are you hot desking in an open plan space? The Rambutan bunch work in the latter, though it’s our own rented office not shared with other businesses.
We moved to this set up nearly two years ago and it’s been an adjustment; for some more than others. Our previous arrangement was a series of rooms on one floor. It provided openness and closed off space, depending on what was required. Now, we have one large space, with the exception of a very nice purpose-built office within it. This is where we hold a lot of meetings and where some of us tuck ourselves away to escape the noise (e.g. banter and the like) which comes with open plan spaces.
I took the train down to London the other day and figured I’d catch up on some work during the journey. As someone who can handle a reasonable amount of distraction (depending on the task I’m working on), I was surprised by how the varied hustle and bustle of my fellow passengers affected me.
Multiple conversations being held at different vocal levels, on different topics; the county whizzing by, and loud music coming from people’s headphones. For once my head was full of other people’s voices instead of my own!
Thankfully my work experience isn’t like this, although I know for some it can feel that way. My personal preference is to listen to music to help me concentrate (I find complete silence a distraction!) but out of respect this is only ever through my headphones in the office.
There are pros and cons to working in open spaces, but no more so than working from home or being isolated in an office at the end of a corridor. If you find your work environment a struggle, how can you get around it? Has your business thought of a way to accommodate all the different styles your team like to work in? We’d love to know what’s worked for you.