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> I find myself in a rather noisy part of the office. I'm finding it
> increasingly difficult to concentrate on my work, and I'm feeling
> stressed by the mechanical noises and casual conversations going on
> around me.
> Am I alone in needing a relatively quiet place to work? How have
> others (especially lone writers like me) succeeded in negotiating for
> a quiet workspace?
I had a dream when I was much younger that one day I would get an
office with a door. Alas, It is never going to happen (but I'm thrilled to
have a window!).
I think most of us have found ourselves living in cube-farms. Over
time, if you are faced with the same voices/types of noises, you
learn to filter it out. Oddly enough, I find mechanical noise the most
tiring. Quite often in the evenings I find myself breathing a little sigh
of relief when the air handlers turn off, even though I wasn't
consciously aware of the noise during the workday.
Of course, if you are in a common area like that, it's hard to learn to
filter the noise since it isn't the same voices all the time. I suggest
noise filtering headphones. I looked at them at one time (to filter out
a particularly annoying "personality" who moved into our area), but
unfortunately, most are better at filtering mechanical noise than
voices. (Check the internet; I found some good reviews.) But, even if
they won't filter all of the noise, it's bound to filter some and that
might be enough of an improvement to help your productivity.
I would continue to bring it up with your manager. If you've got a
review coming up soon, discuss it then. Your manager may just not
realize that it *really is* an issue.
I could really use some headphones today. They are stripping off the
metal siding from our building in a remodelling effort!