How to Maintain Focus in a Noisy Work Environment

It’s difficult to maintain concentration in a noisy workplace

If you’re working in an open space, you’ll often have to deal with noise from your colleagues, which is distracting when working on a task requiring undivided attention. It’s easier to focus when you drown out the din and concentrate on your own thoughts. However, drowning out the noise is difficult to achieve.

Being trapped in a rowdy space while expected to get the work done is exasperating. If you’re working in a noisy place, you can do a few things to stay productive. The following tips can help you maintain focus in a noisy place.

Move Around
the Office

An office is supposed to be where you can think, brainstorm, and write without distractions. Sadly, the open floor workspace sometimes makes that challenging. Still, you can manage the situation by moving around the office further away from the noise center.

No law states you must stay at your assigned desk regardless of the circumstances. The goal is to get the job done without mistakes.


One perfect way to drown out the noise in your workplace is through noise-cancellation headphones. Due to its affordability, it’s easy getting one for yourself. However, you need to be prepared for the jump scare you’ll get when your co-workers approach you unseen.

Noise-canceling headphones are a godsend when you need to tune out for a few minutes or hours to handle an important task in an open office.

Create a
Single-pointed Concentration Concentration

Single-pointed concentration helps you improve your focus while working in a noisy workplace. You can achieve this by giving your full attention to an object, for instance, the curtain or a book, and focusing on it, creating happy thoughts about the item.

The aim is to drown out the distracting noise by concentrating on a single object. Creating a single-pointed concentration helps you work with laser focus in a busy workplace.

Perform sensitive tasks like making phone calls in a quiet place

Perform Disruptive
or Sensitive Work Elsewhere

If you’re unsuccessful in trying to drown out the noise, you can perform sensitive or disruptive work elsewhere when necessary. For instance, instead of repeating words while making disruptive or lengthy phone calls from your desk in a noisy place, consider taking them elsewhere that is less noisy.

While you might want to maintain access to your computer while on the phone with a client, you might end up frustrated if you’re struggling to follow the conversation due to the noise.

a Quiet Room

It’s not easy working in an open space. You have no control over how your colleagues talk or the frequency of their conversations. An open workspace indeed encourages collaboration, but it sometimes limits productivity.

If you’re unable to focus on your task at your desk, consider finding a quiet space to complete your intensive projects. For instance, you can make an empty office or conference room that isn’t off-limits your safe place when you need to concentrate on a task.

Also, observe if the office is louder on specific periods and plan your tasks according to the office volume. You can handle transactional activities while there’s noise and your deep-thinking or strategic projects when the office is quiet.

However, you can use your safe place when you have more tasks, and the office is noisy. Even if you share the room with one or two other co-workers, it’ll be quiet compared to the entire office.

for Remote Working Opportunities

If all these tips fail, consider searching for remote working opportunities or check if your office can allow you to work from home on some days, especially when you’re handling important projects.

While this isn’t entirely a solution for coping but rather for escaping noisy workplaces, it’s better if you’re constantly struggling to complete your tasks. After the Covid-19 pandemic, most employers are becoming more agreeable to the idea of working from home. However, this depends on your type of work and whether it’s better if you’re onsite.

McKinsey & Company’s American Opportunity Survey shows that six out of ten employees work from home every week. So take it up with the management, and you might be part of the numbers.

Tristan Jacobs


Final Words

Working in a noisy place can be frustrating, especially when you’re all pumped to get the work done. Hopefully, these tips will bring you your desired solution.

However, if everything fails, consider searching for remote opportunities. You won’t have to deal with noisy co-workers when you work from home. Have you worked in a noisy place before? Share your experience with us in the comment section!