Quietness and Productivity

I used to work in an open office for years. I “owned” a small part of a big table. I had a few small drawers and enough space for two monitors and a notebook. People developed their on methods for privacy. I had a huge bamboo covering me on the side.

My team was located near a break room. It was designed like a nice coffee shop, complete with two huge TVs, a few game consoles, satellite TV, fresh fruits and milk and so on. It was a fun place to hang around and catch up with my colleagues. For working not so much. It used to get loud and noisy.

Phone calls were another hassle. Engineers, as nice people were trying to not disturb others. They were hesitant to take any calls. I knew a few who disconnected their phones just for that. They did not want it to ring. We had phone booths for private conversations. They were indeed quite nice small offices. Still, there were lots of phone conversations around us. It was unavoidable.

My dream was to be able to work in quiet place. And it happened. I got a new job and a private office with it. It is huge, with a big desk and a door I can close. It is quite. I may be biased but I feel like I am more productive.

However it is not a rose garden either. Now I feel like I am lacking on the conversation. Signal to noise ratio in an open office is very low however there is still some amount of signal in there. You hear about people, and their daily routine as much as they are willing to share with you. It is a bonding process.

And on the physical side I sometimes need a comfort noise. I tried listening to music. It makes me tired after about half an hour. Now I am using a white noise app called Coffitivity. It makes you feel like you are working from a coffee shop. It seems to be working for me for now but we will see how it works out in the long run.

Maybe one day someone will come with a great way of mixing these two types of working environments. Until then I will keep my door open.