Managing People Distractions

There should be an image here!Last year, my co-workers and I moved to a new office. We went from working in our own private cubicles to working in pods. There are now three of us in one pod, where there is absolutely no privacy. When I look back to the first few weeks of pod life, I can definitely say that the most challenging aspect of moving into a pod was trying to work amidst the people distractions.

The first few weeks of pod life were not my most productive but I eventually found ways of dealing with the people distractions. Here are a few of the things that seemed to work for me:

  • Attitude is key — accept that people distractions are part of the job.
  • Have a pair of ear plugs or headphones on hand to block out the noise.
  • Stay organized with a task list. Reward yourself if you are able to accomplish all your tasks without getting distracted.
  • Have a conversation with your co-workers to set some ground rules for the pod. This might include dedicated quiet time, taking lengthy phone calls in dedicated meeting rooms, etc.
  • Be considerate of your pod mates. Recognize that they too are likely trying to get accustomed to the new arrangement.
  • Put up dividers between the desks within a pod to give some level of privacy. You can purchase portable dividers for minimal costs.

If you’re trying to adjust to pod life, rest assured, within a few weeks, you’ll get used to it and will become oblivious to many of the people distractions going on around you.

[Photo above by Joshua Rappeneker / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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  • http://www.hawaiian-shirt.net Hawaiian Shirt Guy

    I have had this happen.

    I would immediately let the loud chatterboxes know that they are interfering with a customer (pointedly customer, NOT me as they obviously could care less).

    Repeat a few times, they take the loudmouthing down the hall.