How many times have you tried to complete that pile of work on your desk, and you’re trying hard to concentrate, but the chatter from the next cubicle doesn’t allow you to get much done? More often than needed, we’re sure. Getting your work done can be quite a challenge when you’re surrounded by people, be it the co-workers in your office, or others in a shared working space.
Of course, having the right infrastructure can help to a great extent, where you get your privacy within a crowded space - giving you the convenience to work in peace. However, you can’t always be sure of that. So it’s better to have a backup plan in place.
Here are 5 things you can do to make it easier for you to concentrate and complete your tasklist, irrespective of your ambience. Give them a shot!
- Schedule your ‘Do-not-disturb’ time
All of us enjoy a nice coffee break with our colleagues, or even just a short walk around the campus - but not while we are in the middle of an important work. Try to identify the most productive hours of your day and inculcate a strict ‘do-not-disturb’ policy during that time. Let your colleagues know that during that time you are not to be disturbed, unless it is something important. You could even get a table card printed with ‘Do-not-disturb’ and place it on your desk during certain hours, so your colleagues know not to interrupt you then. That way, you can complete the most challenging tasks of the day during that time, and enjoy your coffee breaks stress-free!
- Noise cancelling headphones
Get yourself a good pair of noise cancelling headphones and wear them during your ‘Do-not-disturb’ time. Some people even enjoy listening to mild music while they work. Whether you choose to listen to music or not, you can cut out the indescript chatter that interrupts your work with these on. Invest in a good brand, so that they give you the silence you need to get your work done in peace.
- Rescheduling your work timings
Try to see if you can reschedule your office timings, to give you more ‘alone time’ in your work bay. For instance, getting to office an hour earlier can give you some precious quiet time before your colleagues or shared space co-workers get in. Alternatively, you could get in late but stay on an additional hour in the evening once the others have left. Speak to your boss about giving you the flexibility to choose your in and out timings, based on when you get maximum interruption-free time to complete your work. You could choose to make these your fixed timings, or just on days you know you have something important to complete.
- Booking meeting rooms in advance
On days that you know you have particular important work to be completed, that requires your undivided attention, pre-book a slot in the conference rooms/ meeting rooms for yourself. In many companies these rooms are soundproof and come with the right infrastructure to aid productive work. Having a great conference table is an added perk!
- Finding the right cubicle
Where you sit, can make a world of difference to your quality of work. For instance, if you’re sitting right next to the office pantry, you are likely to be disturbed by people constantly getting coffee, refilling their water bottles etc. Similarly sitting in the centre spot of a long table, can be difficult, if the colleagues next to you tend to be talkative. Try and select the right spot within your work bay that gives you the right ambience to work. Request your manager if you could be seated there - a corner niche is ideal. Of course, this may or may not be feasible, depending on the availability of such a spot. But given the choice, always select a desk which gives you the privacy to work in peace.
So there you go - five ways that can help you work better, even within a shared space.
At Mahmayi, we understand your need for privacy to get the best work done. Our partitioned workstations are ergonomically designed to make best use of office spaces, while giving employees their private niches. If you don’t already have them in your office, you should think about getting them soon!
Depending on which of the above ideas are suited for you, try them out and let us know your experience. Have more ideas to add? Do let us know in the comments below!