open             You either love them or you hate them. Some people can do their best work in a bustling, noisy open office. But others just can’t concentrate in this environment. If you’re one of the latter, you need to learn how to work in an open office space, before you get your first job and start working in one. Invest in headphones A pair of quality headphones is essential if you want to drown out the sounds of your surroundings. There are options available which can literally drown out every sound. These can make all the difference in your quest to be more productive. Learn to tune out your surroundings If headphones aren’t for you, simply learn to tune out the sounds of your surroundings. Research has found that introverts in particular are better able to tune out what’s happening around them. They draw their energy from within and are able to focus on tasks until they’ve been completed. But that doesn’t mean extroverts aren't able to do the same. They simply need to learn how best to put their head down and do the work. Set up signals It’s important that you learn to read other people’s signals of when they’re busy and can’t be interrupted. This way you won’t risk upsetting a busy colleague. In the same way, you must set up signals which will show colleagues that you’re busy. That might mean wearing your headphones or simply refusing to interact with others. Be considerate to your neighbours You need to be aware of the noise you make and play a role in minimising it. This means keeping phone calls to a minimum, always being conscious of the tone of your voice and holding conversations away from public areas. In addition, be aware of your food and its smell. Some people can be very sensitive to smell and won't appreciate you eating your boiled eggs and steamed broccoli at your desk. It’s important as you start working in this environment that you play a part in making this environment work for everyone. If your workmates are looking for suggestions on how to improve the space, consider making suggestions. An option could be installing turnstiles in certain areas to ensure only people with approved access can enter. This will prevent large groups of people from milling around in a space they shouldn’t be in. another option is to create defined spaces for certain activities. This means meetings will only take place in certain rooms, rooms for private telephone calls and two person conversations. By implementing some of these suggestions, an open workspace can begin to work for everyone.

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