Isolating Yourself At Work

A building right next to the Nanjing E. Rd MRT station. Taken on the 27th of January 2007 with a Nikon D200 and a 18-35mm lens. Part of the Muzha MRT Series 1.

One of the key ways of surviving in a workplace, is isolating yourself successfully from your coworkers. That cuts out on a lot of bullshit and is usual for IT workers, but less well known for other types of workers, such as teachers.

I find that my iPod has become essential in these matters. It completely isolates me from unwanted discussions and interruptions. It makes people always think twice before disturbing me.

Why?

Because it’s a whole process to answer the person when you have headphones on

  1. Pause your music
  2. Take your headphones off
  3. Say pardon or excuse me
  4. The person will repeat themselves with the same question

This technique can backfire if your office has a lot of political maneuvering. In those offices, it might actually be more interesting to put headphones on but not listen to anything. However, in my workplace, politicking is at a minimum.

All the useless questions that I don’t hear and all the noises that the music cuts off are great!

It always makes workers more productive by effectively concentrating them on their tasks. The music isolates them and cuts them off any distractions.

It IT workplaces, I have seen guys with their 300-600USD headphones listening away to their music and coding. The IT guy in our place does the same. Right now, I only use an old 3rd or 4th generation iPod (I can never remember which is which).

This could spiral out of control in a Big Brother type office, where the bosses would make everyone listen to music or brainwash them. But nevertheless, it is an essential tool of the modern cubicule warrior, since closed offices are part of the past or reserved for higher echelon office guys like the principal.

It has always surprised to see IT workers with their headphones on.

Are workplaces with headphoned workers more efficient?

Probably, but it all depends on your own workplace.

Most of the places I’ve worked at had never had any problems with it. And the more you look at it, it is the way of our society. That does not mean that you should cut yourself off chatting happily with your coworkers, oh no. Being involved in your office is essential. But letting other people at work know that you are a worker as well is important.

There is nothing worse than a coworker blabbing off about something that you just don’t give a rat’s ass about, there is no sense in denying it. You do not choose your coworkers. You choose your friends.

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ranjitwithkinginbehand.jpgI'm Range, your host. On the menu, photos, art, stories, entertainment and reviews. Links, maths, education and social issues. I'm in Quebec (Canada) or Taiwan (R.O.C.). Follow me on Twitter.

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