June 23rd, 2014

Dear Etiquette Expert: How Do I Deal With Chatty Co-Workers?

by Jacqueline Whitmore

Ending Office Chat the Nice Way

Open offices naturally lead to more socializing. But you don’t have to participate in every conversation. Here’s how to duck out without looking like a grouch.

Q: I work in an open floor plan office and lots of socializing goes on. I find it distracting and have a hard time getting my work done. How can I break away from the office chitchat without looking like I’m no fun?

A: Open floor plan offices naturally lend themselves to more socializing. But you’re hardly alone in finding the chatter distracting. A study published last year found that open office layouts had a negative effect on productivity, contributing to “mental workload, poor performance, stress, and fatigue.” Another paper, from 2011, found that sound was one of the main factors affecting workplace productivity, with conversation being among the most annoying of them.

Click here to learn how to end the office chat and read the full article on Time.com.


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