Headphones at Work Might Be Tuning You Out

headphonesIs it common courtesy or insulting to those around you? What are your thoughts on wearing headphones while you’re in the office? Certainly you don’t want to subject your co-workers to music and podcasts while everyone is trying to work, but what is wearing headphones really doing to the culture of your office? Do you need music to help you stay productive? Can you work without it? What are the choices you have to both enjoy your work day and stay connected? Let’s take a closer look.


Establish headphone times.

Are you more productive when you can listen to music that gets you moving? Or maybe jazz or classical can help you focus on your work. Either way, you can use this to your advantage. Set aside times during the day when you can plug in and tune out the distractions of the office to better concentrate on your work while listening to your favorite sounds.

Make time to connect.

If you do choose specific times of the day when you’re listening to music on your headphones, make sure that you balance this time with office interaction. Use the time between to coordinate with your team members, socialize with co-workers and otherwise participate in the overall office environment. This kind of team building will make your headphone time look less anti-social.

Offer options for the entire office.

If you work in an open office space, a radio station or CD collection that is appropriate for everyone might be your better choice. If your entire office agrees, pick out some music that can be playing while everyone is working that won’t be a distraction. Be sure to play it at a reasonable volume and that it won’t interfere with communications over the phone or around the office.

Let go of your bad habits.

Finally, don’t let music or your headphones become a crutch or a mask for your bad habits. If listening to music too much in the office is making you an outcast to your co-workers, learn to wean yourself off your dependency. Music is a motivator, but it shouldn’t completely replace your experience in the office or make you seem unapproachable.

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