A lot of solutions and products are talked about regarding soundproofing a room or an office, but what about if like many tens of thousands of people, you work in an office cubicle? Keeping intrusive sound out of your work time is very difficult and the constant chatter and background noise can make it very hard to concentrate. Unfortunately there is no way of making anything other than a sealed box totally soundproof, but there are some smaller things you can do to help minimise the amount of background noise you are subjected to.
Talk to the boss
Not to try and force a decibel limit on the office, although there are places where that is actually done, but to let them know that there is a problem and discuss how it is affecting you because odds are if you are finding the noise levels difficult, you are not alone. If your boss is able to do so, there are plenty of office soundproofing solutions on the market already that can help mitigate the amount of ambient noise in a room. From hanging sound baffles to laying thicker carpet, there are quite a number of small changes that can be made to impede the overall flow of noise in a busy office.
Increase the height of the walls
Something else that you might need help with from the boss is increasing the height of your cubicle walls, and probable all of the others as well. By making the walls taller, the amount of noise that travels over the top of them will be limited, especially if they are made from or coated with a noise cancelling material.
Of course, no one is advocating taking a pot of paint to your workstation, but if you are allowed to add personal touches to your cubicle then why not invest in your own acoustic panels that you can hang on your walls. These are fairly cheap to buy and can make a surprising difference as they will help prevent sound waves from bouncing around you space and this accounts for a good portion of the ambient noise you will hear. They will not stop it completely, but they will certainly help.
Obviously, if altering your space isn’t a viable option, then you can always take some extra steps personally. Unless you are required to wear a headset, then noise cancelling earphones can be a great tool to help your concentration. You will need to check with the boss first, as they do pose a potential risk in regards to the health and safety of you hearing alarms, but a workplace should be happy and willing to make changes to accomodate the comfort of their staff. After all, if staff aren’t comfortable, they aren’t happy, and if staff aren’t happy then they are not as effective as they could be.