Headphones In The Office

Discussion (12)

  1. Lauren

    I use ear buds and only keep one in unless I really need to focus on a project

  2. Random Architect

    I very rarely use headphones for that exact reason. It doesn’t look good when you’re being paged or called and you don’t respond because you can’t hear. When I am grinding out work though and need to focus, then I will put them on to avoid being distracted, but I leave one ear half open in case someone calls.

  3. jASON

    I wear earbuds, but 90% of the time, nothing is playing. It’s just to keep others from trying to chat with me.

  4. krushert

    Usually the people that get annoyed that other people are wearing headphones are the ones that make the distractions by being annoying.

  5. Josh

    I wear them when I really need to focus/any time I’m doing CD or CA, but I always keep them really low so I hear most everything anyway.

    Except for the whole my right ear being shot thing. You come to me from the right side and I wouldn’t be able to hear you anyway.

  6. Andy

    I usually wear them, my office is too quiet, and who likes to listen to the woman next to you clear her throat every 3 minutes or hum to herself?

    Besides, its usually like clockwork, nobody could have said something to me for the last 3 hours, but if I put them on, usually within in 30 seconds, someone needs something from me.

  7. BK31

    I’ve got a big set of full over the ear studio headphones from my radio days that I can easily rock out to on one ear during normal office hours and they serve as decent speakers too when needed. Occasionally I’ll go on both ears, but I get calls too much nowadays. Back when I was just out of college I learned the trick of buying a cheap blind spot mirror from AutoZone and affixing it to the top corner of my monitor so I could see if anyone was behind me. That way you could at least act like you heard them…

  8. E Architect

    I have noticed over the years that the more busy the office becomes the few headphones are used. When there is tons of work to be done you hardly ever see them. When times are slow people retreat into their shells, fill up the silence they can’t stand, and minimize interactions by putting on the headphones. Studies (2010 study published in Applied Cognitive Psychology) have shown that headphones actually slow productivity unless exactly balanced to person and task.

    • Tim

      Music actually helps my production. I focus more on the task and less on what my coworkers are talking about. Additionally the rhythm keeps my momentum moving.

  9. joearch

    When I agreed to change desks with one of my colleagues into nosier part of the office (next to a phone yeller who my colleague did not get along with), one of the concessions I got was the ability to wear my ear buds. Still I usually don’t have the volume up very high.

    • joearch

      Background noise – music, talk, etc helps me focus on my work as well.

  10. ncmyk

    Best advice I ever got when I first started working at a firm was “if you ever want to run an office, never wear headphones so you can pay attention to what’s going on.” less than 10 years later, I was an owner.