Just because you work your way up the corporate ladder doesn't mean there's a corner office waiting for you. In fact, there may not be any office at all. Open floor plans are all the rage in big businesses these days, encouraging teamwork and communication among employees.
If you're coming from a company where you had an office, or your current employer is transitioning to open-space seating, there will be a period of adjustment. Use these tips to survive and thrive no matter where you sit.
1. Tune in to tune out.
Listening to music at work has become more acceptable in recent years. Take your mp3 player or iPod to work and tune out the noise around you with your favorite music and some headphones. If you find that most music is distracting, try some classical selections. If that doesn't work, opt for noise-cancelling headphones. Just be sure you're not tuning out so much that you're not aware when your phone rings.
2. Good fences make good neighbors.
It's normal to feel a bit self-aware and uncomfortable in your new seating arrangement, particularly if you're "thisclose" to your new neighbor. If you can't move past it, try to create a soft border using a carefully placed bulletin board or a stack of books. If that isn't possible, play around with repositioning your computer monitor to give you the most privacy possible.
3. Conference rooms aren't just for conferences.
If you're working in an open-space environment, there's probably more than one conference room. Utilize these private spaces to have sensitive conversations and to take very personal phone calls (your neighbors really don't want to hear you discussing medical conditions with your physician, for example). A conference room can also be used if you need to work on something that requires extreme concentration and quiet. If this isn't possible where you work, speak with your supervisor about working off-site or at home on the days you're tackling such projects.
4. Give it time.
The first few days and even weeks of sitting at a workstation may seem bizarre, frustrating, and impossible. However, you will get used to it. You'll become less aware of your fellow workers' phone conversations and foibles and more focused on yourself and your work. You also may find that you enjoy having immediate access to members of your team. As a result, you may start to build new friendships and create fun workplace routines.Sphere: Related Content