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Do you find it annoying when you're trying to get a co-worker's attention in the office but can't because they are listening to music? Do you think companies should ban employees listening to whatever

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@Wrembreck

In that case, I was too quick to criticise. I apologise. It's just an irritating error made by ninety per cent of native speakers.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Thank you lucabrasi, English is not my first language, I make mistakes.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

@Wrembreck

For example, you learn that "every day" involves two separate words.

"Everyday" means "quotidian" : )

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I had no idea that people listened to music at the office, and its something that I would've thought was unimaginable for those working in Japan. You learn something new everyday.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I know it's gained popularity because of companies like Google that tout the open office design, but it honestly sucks massive eggs. The problem is that people in an open setting somehow get it in their heads that the normal conventions for speaking with someone no longer apply. Out of the clear blue, "Hey, Barry. How do you blah blah blah?" No warning. No foreplay. "Hey Kate, do you have a sec? No? Well, this will only take a moment. Blah blah blah blah," the deadline you're working against be damned. It's utterly maddening.

Open office designs foster an atmosphere of, *"I'm the most important person in this office and I demand you address my needs above yours. Here. Now!"*

In short, open office designs are the archnemesis of productivity because people can't seem to exercise simple manners or common sense when working in one.

Why do coworkers like me wear headphones in an open office? Because we are desperately trying to tune you out so we can get some damned work done.

If you really need me, send me a memo like normal people and I'll get back to you when I'm able.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I listen to music at the office sometimes, but I leave one headphone out. Yeah, it annoys me when I can't get the attention of people who use both.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

" I've worked in companies which designate a period of 2 hours, usually in the morning for zero communications. Instead of constantly interrupting coworkers for every little thing, everybody plan ahead and get a lot of things done within just 2 hours. "

That is just a super idea!

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Depends on the workplace and the type of work - where it is obviously an obstacle, colleagues can become better enforcers than any workplace rule.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Do you think companies should ban employees listening to whatever it is they listen to, especially in an open office where employees need to communicate with each other?

No I don't

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Yes !

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I need 4 hrs uninterrupted to work through complex designs and code. Any interruption makes me lose and hour to get back into "the zone." Plus, I don't have a record of the question.

If it took me an hour to get back to work after someone asked me a question, I'd quickly be in the unemployment line.

Headphones aren't a big issue these days. As others have stated, just send them a network message or email. If an answer is required right now (questions rarely do need an immediate response), get up out of your chair, put one foot in front of the other, and walk to the person.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I've always listened to music since starting work many years ago, I'm not a very sociable person in the first place and having headphones on helps reinforce that. I never have the volume all that high so I can easily hear if someone calls out my name if they require my attention for something.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

So to get around a minor inconvenience in human interaction, we're going to ban an entire mode of culture from the workplace?

Here, let me help you out with this radical new technology I've imported. It's called the Temporary Attention Protocol, or TAP. First, you say the name of the person you're trying to reach. If that doesn't work, you say their name again louder (but not so loud that you disturb others around you or appear aggressive.) If that doesn't work, approach the person while carefully extending your index on your dominant hand. Gently, but firmly enough to be noticed, place that index finger on a sexually-neutral part of the person's body, such as their shoulder. Remove the finger immediately after making contact. 2 or 3 TAPs in rapid succession is acceptable. Now practice with a partner, we will have an office-wide test of your TAP competence next week. I hope everyone can reach ikkyu level in TAP.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

Luckily our company allows it. As previous users have stated, some people (including me) need the music to be able to concentrate at work and eliminate background noise. Too many coworkers yapping, snorting, coughing and making other annoying sounds. On top of that we have a private messenger and skype to reach each other for small messages.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

music in the office?!!! never seen it in my 18 years in jp...

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Not a big deal. If your relationship with your colleagues is not very very formal these things should not be a problem.

But I understand the stress factor in a Japanese firm where even colleagues sitting next to each other communicate via mail. People inform and apologize to their peers before taking a rest room break. Pathetic!

Environment of absolute mistrust to create enough hostility anyways.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Depends on the job, and depends on what the need to get their attention is for. I have a co-worker who will sometimes wave her hands in front of me if I'm listening to music on my lunch break and typing an email or writing documents only to tell me, when I stop what I'm doing and turn off my music, "Look! You're eating pasta today!"

If the job requires people to be constantly aware of each other and communication open, then people listening to music via earphones and who can't hear others could be a problem. If the job does not require it so much, then no, there should be no ban. Likewise, as in my example, a ban on music should not at all be necessary when the 'annoyed co-worker' has something unimportant and not job-related to say and is simply irritated they can't get the other's attention. In fact, as another poster mentioned, such distractions can lead to decreased productivity, while music might just help the person focus more and work harder (or relax them and help them focus, etc.).

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I have my own office but I need the music on in the background otherwise the silence would drive me mad. I need distraction to help me concentrate, if that makes sense.

Me too. I need white noise. I'll often put on a podcast, or even some TV, without listening, just to have the sound on. Other times it's music. But I need something.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

I have my own office but I need the music on in the background otherwise the silence would drive me mad. I need distraction to help me concentrate, if that makes sense.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I'm not particulary listening to music, I'm trying my best to drown the cacophony of background noises. The gossipers, the people who suck their teeth and the dreaded snott-snort. Open offices are a nightmare for this. Music helps me to concentrate and get on with my work.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Thing is everything can be a distraction at work not only music: colleagues phone conversations, private chats, hot women walking to the restroom (that was my n1 distraction, by far, when I worked in an open-plan office).

Would handle music on a case by case basis I.e there may be times, departments etc when/where it's ok and others when it's not.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

What's the point in working in an office if you use headphones? Why not just work from home?

Seriously, all the talk about productivity, being in the zone, standing meetings, open offices etc, it makes me wonder.

Making the office more "humane" is just a line. It's cooked up by the people running business schools to make themselves feel as important as scientists because they use statistics. Then it's amplified by the uber-jerks in silicon valley who don't like being told what to do by MBAs, and so they up the ante.

In the end it's all a distraction so that the average worker can think that management is actually looking out for them.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

In one office I worked at whenever someone needed to concentrate, they booked a conference room thereby taking up Much more space than just their desk, closed the door so no one would interrupt, and placed their little airplane icon on the employee board to indicate they were out of the office. Now, is that better than putting on headphones?

Personally, according to a couple of co-workers, when I need to concentrate and get in the zone I get a look on my face that warns others off.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

They day I'm banned from listening to stuff in the office (mainly podcasts) is the day I quit.

1 ( +4 / -3 )

Music should be allowed even in offices with cubicles. There is too much distraction around the office to focus on work so music definitely helps with that. Open style offices do NOT work unless you're unskilled or in Sales

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Depends on the job.

I need 4 hrs uninterrupted to work through complex designs and code. Any interruption makes me lose and hour to get back into "the zone." Plus, I don't have a record of the question.

Do get around this, we have daily standup meetings and schedule other side talks as needed, since people all have different schedules and need to plan.

Must say that my productivity is probably 80% less than when I had an office to myself since being forced to work in an open "circle" workgroup.

I don't have the headphones all all day, everyday either. Only when I need full concentration. I respect when my guys do it as well and don't interrupt them when they are clearly in or trying to get "in-the-groove."

It is called working together and being respectful. I'm not really listening to music. I'm blocking out all the idle chatter and business/personal phone calls from nearby people. If that means you need to send an email, fine. I've had this discussion with the VP over our group and she understands and approves, especially since they don't want to pay for individual offices.

3 ( +4 / -1 )

We all use Macs, so when this happens I just fire off a quick iMessage to whomever it is to catch their attention.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

The problem is not music, studies have shown that interruptions can really have negative impact on productivity. Some people need time to get into the "zone", once interrupted they zone out and never go back in. I've worked in companies which designate a period of 2 hours, usually in the morning for zero communications. Instead of constantly interrupting coworkers for every little thing, everybody plan ahead and get a lot of things done within just 2 hours.

8 ( +8 / -0 )

It's a problem in our office, which is open, with no cubicles. We need to talk to each other and it is really hard to get someone's attention, without waving a hand and hoping they see you, or throwing something at them. emailing may take too long for them to see it and respond. Most annoying is when you finally have to get up and walk over to that person and tap them on the shoulder.

My first two jobs were in offices where listening to music was banned and I agree with that policy. I see no reason for anyone to cut themselves off from the rest of the office by listening to music, even if it does help them concentrate. I admit some offices can be noisy with employees chattering, but if your duties require you to interact with your co-workers, then no headphones please.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

What? You are trying to stop my music? What next? The sex that goes on in my office (lol)? Seriously, people need to get a break on life instead of sweating small stuff like this?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

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