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Regular Contributor
Posts: 187
Registered: ‎03-12-2010
So I've just started a new job and so far I like my boss and the office itself seems great. Just one thing. On past jobs, I either had my own office or shared an office with 1 or 2 people at the most. But in this new job, I am sharing a cubicle (a small one at that) with a guy who is nice enough, but it's so hard to go from having at least a little privacy to having hardly any. I know, be glad I have a job (I definitely am) and this is how offices are these days. I also know I should be glad I'm not in an "open office" with no privacy at all. I am pretty much an introvert and will take some getting used to this if I want to be productive. Does anyone have any advice? How do you tune out all the distractions and focus on work while still engaging with those around you? Maybe this sounds trivial but to me it's not!
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.
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Regular Contributor
Posts: 201
Registered: ‎03-10-2010

Re: Office Situation

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I hate those office situations. I love my privacy and tend to need 'quiet' to work.  However, I also love that headphones are totally acceptable now (well- in many offices,) and if you can slip those in for 'focus sessions' for certain periods of time throughout the day, I think you could have a mix of being accessible and also have periods of more focus. Something like Bose Quiet Comfort 25 with noise cancelling technology might be good.  Play 'nature sounds' if music is distracting or 'ocean waves' or meditative tones, etc.  You don't have to wear them all the time, but have a schedule. Like between 10-noon you have them on, or ... depends what your job entails. 

 

I think using noise cancelling headphones is best (at least for me,) lets the 'sound' stay quieter and lower and more 'in the background' and blocks a lot of outside activity at the same time.  It also lets others know "I'm working, please don't disturb" which I find to be my biggest distraction in a 'shared' office!

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 26,549
Registered: ‎12-17-2012

I feel your pain.  I can't focus on what I need to do when someone is talking to me or around me.  Time will help you be able to tune them out.  Not an easy answer ... doesn't always work either.  I have had to tell people to "tune it down a notch."  I've also chased people out of my area in order to work.  Give it a little time and you will find a way to make it work for you.  Good luck on your new job and hope you find a way to enjoy it. 

Fate whispers to her, "You cannot withstand the storm." She whispers back, "I am the storm."

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Respected Contributor
Posts: 4,075
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Why do you need privacy at the office? 

 

While my cell phone sits on silent at my desk, I go on break & leave my office to make a call. I powder my nose in the ladies room and leave the office at lunchtime if I need a call longer than a minute or two.

 

Im not a person to hang out in the lunchroom or gossip in the hallways and if I need privacy I leave my office or the building.

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,504
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

There seem to be two issues you have brought forward - privacy and productivity.

 

As far as privacy, IMO the workplace isn't appropriate for private/family cell conversations. Do those in the hall, outside or in the bathroom, or at lunch, not throughout the workday. Chances are you cubie-mate isn't going to pay any more attention to you than you will to him.

 

Regarding productivity - are you left to do your work by yourself? Does your job include answering the phones? If you aren't having to frequently answer phones, the headphones and white noise are a good suggestion. If you have to remain focally part of the office as a whole all the time and it's noisy - been there and am doing that and it sux. Just do the best you can.

Life without Mexican food is no life at all
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Esteemed Contributor
Posts: 6,263
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

As a fellow introvert I understand. I second the idea of headphones. One time I had to share a small office with a very negative and overbearing person. Listening to the radio helped me go into my own zone while I was working. Depending on my mood I would listen to talk radio or music. Radio-locator.com is a great resource for finding whatever station you like. I would also suggest making your area as pleasant as possible with things you enjoy, things that bring a sense of peace, calm or joy when you look at them – calendars, pictures, knick-knacks, etc. Good luck!

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Posts: 25,929
Registered: ‎03-09-2010

Being a nurse I have never had an office to work in. I have always had to do all my work sitting at a desk in the main hallway outside my patient's room, had to listen to the monitors beeping , the ventilator noises etc etc plus the constant phone ringing and other people's conversations. Not to mention constant interruptions by patient call lights and families and doctors interrupting every thought, and almost constantly having co workers asking for assistance tp lift or turn someone. I would have thought a cubicle with just one other person was a dream come true.

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Posts: 4,270
Registered: ‎04-20-2012

I once worked for a cell phone company and sat in a large room of cubicles while answering the phone.  The people who sat to my left and right were great and I seldom was distracted by either but the guy who sat diagonally across was another story.  When someone gives out incorrect information to a customer like he did all the time, I heard it all loud and clear.  It was extremely annoying and distracted me to the point of having a conference with my boss....move me or listen in to his calls and see for yourself that he's an imbecile.  

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Posts: 4,270
Registered: ‎04-20-2012

@151949 wrote:

Being a nurse I have never had an office to work in. I have always had to do all my work sitting at a desk in the main hallway outside my patient's room, had to listen to the monitors beeping , the ventilator noises etc etc plus the constant phone ringing and other people's conversations. Not to mention constant interruptions by patient call lights and families and doctors interrupting every thought, and almost constantly having co workers asking for assistance tp lift or turn someone. I would have thought a cubicle with just one other person was a dream come true.


I always noticed that whenever I was in a hospital.  You women are amazing!!!!!!!

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Honored Contributor
Posts: 18,504
Registered: ‎05-23-2010

Introverts have to develop their own individual coping skills over time.

 

For most of my working life I have had a profession I could do in complete silence plugged in to earphones, working in my own little vacuum. One of the reasons I decided on the profession was because of this.

 

Not quite 20 years ago, things changed drastically in the healthcare industry and if I wanted to remain employed, I had to adapt. For the last 17 years I have struggled with being interrupted by phones (that I have to break my concentration to answer), loud conversations in my immediate vicinity, and working in a cubied-but-open office with a dozen other people, all speaking at any given miment - and STILL being expected to perform the concentration-required part of my job quickly and without error.  You learn to shut things out. And you plan retirement 😸

Life without Mexican food is no life at all