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Distracting Co-Workers? Here’s How to Keep Your Focus in a Your Workspace

Distracting Co-Workers? Here’s How to Keep Your Focus In Your Workspace


So, you’ve arrived at work, you’ve planned your day and you are ready and motivated to get started on the hottest new project. Great! But what happens when your distracting co-workers arrive and start to ruin your productivity?

Sometimes we find that co-workers or employees simply like to chat and speak very loudly. They may not realise they are doing more harm, but when you’re trying to work, it can be an great disturbance to say the least. Here’s how to shrug off their interference and power through your day.

Invest in a good pair of headphones.

If you’re wearing a solid pair of headphones, especially the noise-cancelling variety, your colleagues are more than likely to think you’re hard at work in your own world and are far less likely to bother you.

Whether you’re working hard or just need a break alone, wearing headphones is the perfect way to type, eat or relax without any disturbances.

Remember – headphones are more obvious than earphones, which may go unnoticed until your friend or co-worker is already by your side! Stick with larger, more obvious headphones for the full effect.

Trap the conversation before it gets carried away.

Try using certain phrases or topic that could help to discourage your colleagues from talking to you when you’re hard at work. Examples may include ‘This project is so hard, it really does need my full concentration’ or ‘there just aren’t enough hours in the day!’

Alternatively (while it may be a little mean), try to start a conversation about something you know your co-worker finds boring or tiring. Chances are, they’ll want to escape the situation entirely as quickly as possible!

Give your visitors something to do.

If a co-worker comes up to your desk while you’re working and won’t take the hint, try subtly getting rid of them by giving them a task to do.

Perhaps ask if they’d do you a favor by photocopying a document or even getting you a cup of coffee! They’ll soon learn that you’re not afraid to ask for help and may start to avoid your desk during work hours.

Move away from the situation.

If you’re able to get your work done away from your desk, why not head off to somewhere a little quieter? Grab a notebook, tablet or laptop and spend some quiet time in another location.

If you do need a full desk set-up to complete your tasks, try talking to your boss. You may be able to move to a new desk or office elsewhere!

Honesty is the best policy.

While these tactics may be effective, honesty may be the best way to deal with your chatty co-workers and ensure you get your point across.

Don’t be rude or aggressive – simply explain to your colleagues that you’re swamped with work, smile, and let them know you’ll catch up another time. If they’re dedicated to their job, they’ll understand!

If you are working in a open concept workspace or co-working space, consider moving into a private office. 

Co-working spaces have risen in popularity in recent years due to its flexibility and perceived low rental prices. Also largely due to its collaborative nature and nice designs incorporated into many such co-working spaces, many startups and even large enterprises have taken on such spaces. However we received a lot of feedback that plenty of distraction and noise pollution do exist in such workspace environment and many have deemed that it may not suit them and the nature of the work they are doing. We are also seeing a swing from clients using such space to using private offices in co-working and serviced office centres. Will there be a huge jump in rental price in such a switch? The answer is a surprising No. Especially when you have a team of 4 or more, leasing a private office will very often be more economical than leasing 4 desk space.

Not sure of the kind of workspace that you should be moving to? Consult our team here for the best solution for your business today.