headphones for the inner voice
For a few last years in Berlin my office didn’t have a half of walls. I mean it wasn’t really an open plan office since the place was still somewhat separated into sections. Anyway that didn’t help much: our scrum masters even measured that the sound levels during the daily meeting in our team area were lower than the noise coming to our place from the nearby team. Around the same time they did an experiment with giving out noise cancelling headphones and I loved these! However the price of 300€ scared me away.
My new office in Cologne is a different story. It’s a classic open plan room for up to 30 people, some of them quite loud. No walls, nothing to prevent the noise. Sometimes there’re three different discussions going on in close proximity. This is quite distracting and I was trying to fight it by putting on headphones and turning on some music.
Anyway after half a year I realised I can’t work like that and went shopping for a noise cancelling headphones. I was really suprised to find Sony MDR-EX750NA for just 120€ in the nearby Saturn. The price difference has caused me some concerns about the quality, but just the first few days dispelled them.
Here’s what happened: I started hearing my inner voice again! It was apparently drowned by all the surrounding noise and by the music I used to fight the noise. Because of the stress I didn’t even notice this voice was missing, but I very well realised it came back. It was so nice to hear it again after a long break.
I think anytime I meet a recruiter boasting about the open plan office I will request the noise cancelling headphones. And if your office is like that now you can buy even the cheap ones – they still make a big difference!