The other day, as I was trying to work with clients, make phone calls and generally be productive, I found myself increasingly aware of the noise just outside my door. Working in an office space with over 60 other Thriving businesses it’s not uncommon for the occasional quick discussion outside of your door about lunch plans or how was the weekend question but this was different – this was construction noise. Granted, we all knew it was coming and we all knew it would be extensive but who knew that putting up a new wall, involving erecting a frame on a concrete floor could sound or feel so loud? The nails shot out by the pneumatic nailer sounded like not too distant gunfire, the floor rattling for all of us. What was more interesting to me were the wide ranging responses by all those impacted!

I was struck by the ignorers, the fleers and the clearly, obviously frustrated folks. And this got me to thinking about how everyone was managing the very same situation. In turn I wondered about how each person’s reaction was frequently mirrored by how they see the work. “You have to break a few eggs to make a cake” was one response, “I’m out of here until this quiets down!” another and “This is sure making it hard to work” yet another.

At some point we’re all likely to have to manage this very situation either because we’re doing construction or our neighbor is. It is the rare bird amongst us that will live out quietly and without interruption from the world around us although I’m sure many folks would like to believe they could achieve this state of bliss in their environment.

Here are some great suggestions I have found to help with just this question.

  1. If you’re not on the phone too much invest in noise cancelling headphones. They are worth every penny for both work and airplane rides (Bose makes excellent ones at a variety of price points).
  2. Remember that either you or someone close to you feels this is necessary step toward improvement; it won’t last forever. It will also, in all likelihood, get quieter each day as the louder pieces of the project are completed.
  3. Insulate where you can. Around windows, doors or other gaps where you’re likely to have a good amount of the noise leak through.
  4. Communicate your concerns to the project manager or contractor so they can be aware that you’re attempting to earn a living just as they are. They may be able to ask their workers to keep talking and joking to a minimum so that in addition to the building noise you don’t also have that going on.
  5. Leave when you can for lunch or breaks.
  6. Schedule important calls or meetings for times when construction is not expected or if possible wait until it is completed.

Wishing for you and for those with whom I share office space, a quick, painless renovation project!