By July 19, 2011 Read More →

Quiet please – home worker at work

Quiet please – home worker at workStaying focused and avoiding distractions are common concerns of many home workers, and different people have very different means of achieving it.

For years I believed I needed to work entirely alone in my own space, well out of earshot of other people’s conversations, music or other interruptions. It wasn’t until we lived in a house where ‘my’ office was plenty big enough for both of us, and A started to spend some of his time working at a desk at the other end of the room, that I realised I was actually much better at tuning out noise than I’d thought.

I’d never have guessed I would be able to work alongside other people in a coworking space either, but you do adjust to the circumstances. These days when I go to Central I’ve noticed it always takes me ages to even start to hear the background music, but I’m not sure whether that just proves how nosy curious I am about my fellow coworkers or that the music is well-chosen and played at the right volume!

I know some people use different kinds of music to get themselves into the right mood and pace for the work they’re doing. I find a good jump around on the rebounder to some classic Bruce Springsteen is a guaranteed way of starting the day fired up or shaking off a bad mood, but I still don’t play music in my office.

I prefer to work in quietness, but other people find they can concentrate better if they play music or have the radio on in the background. Cherry Douglas of How To Change Careers told me the other day she has the radio on in the house to take away the dead quiet, but not so loud she’s able to listen to it!

Have you tried one of those apps that play ‘white noise’ to help you tune out unwelcome distractions? What are your ideal working conditions from a sound point of view? What’s on your favourite playlist for home working?

Posted in: Routine

6 Comments on "Quiet please – home worker at work"

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  1. Penelope Young says:

    It depends. At the moment, I have Classic FM on in the background because generally, it’s peaceful, gentle classical music and I find it calming.

    If I really want to move on my writing, I will turn off the radio for an hour. That space of silence somehow makes me focus more than if I don’t experience the difference between sound and silence.

    Then there’s the boring, must do, filing and admin work and I’ll listen to Gold FM, or HeartFM and sing along. Pop radio cheers the heart and reduces the pile of nasties.

    You can tell I am a radio nut, worked on radio for a while and was married to a DJ. I love music of all sorts – except Rap.

    Happy listening Judy.

  2. I generally have two sorts of work – regular fairly repetative or routine work, or more creative design/coding work.

    For the first I agree with Penelope that Classic FM is the best – gentle and relaxing to take away the strange silence of the empty house. If I realise I’m listening to or noticing the silence then something has to be turned on 🙂

    But if I’m trying to be creative it’s gotta be quiet – I’m just too easily distracted otherwise.

  3. judy says:

    You too, Paul! Judging by these comments and other people’s tweets it seems that Classic FM is the station of choice for discerning home workers.

  4. Ryan Gibson says:

    I typically work in without any form of media other than the notification sound on Skype. It’s what I love with working from home.

    The constant buzz in the office used to hinder me whereas the quiet allows me up work hard 🙂

    I have noticed however that if someone hoovers in the room I’m working in I can still work through that sound. Bizarrely it doesn’t bother me 🙂

    • Judy says:

      I’d love to have the opportunity to find out, Ryan 🙂 Actually, I rather enjoy the occasional bit of hoovering as a change from the computer, to get body and mind moving when they’ve seized up.