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How to survive in an open plan office

Being discreet in an open plan office

 

The situation: With everybody in just one room, there can be a fair amount of noise, especially when phones are ringing left, right and center, the photocopier's spitting out paper and your colleagues are chatting away. If you don't all want to end the day with a banging headache, you need a minimum of discretion.

The solution: "I lower the volume of my handset ", journalist Paula tells us. It might not sound that radical a solution, but it's something you should think about. The same goes for your mobile phone: put it on silent, or better still, turn it off. "Filter your calls as much as possible", recommends our expert. "For personal calls, only answer the urgent ones (to do with the kids, for example), and use your lunch break to deal with any other calls". You'll also spare your colleagues your private conversations and life-changing(!) debates over whether to have chicken or beef for dinner. If you have a meeting with a client or an important call to make, try to isolate yourself as much as possible. "We've got a little room at work where we can make phone calls without disturbing everybody else...and also bring up delicate subjects that aren't for everyone's ears", says Sandra, a communications officer.

Avoid monopolizing the meeting room just to get a quick answer to something. "We've created a spreadsheet for everyone to fill out when they need to reserve the meeting room", explains Charlotte, who works in sales.




  
  

Women in Focus Editor
03/24/2009
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