Loud, for me, is good. I have a shirt that says so! I am not afraid of loud music and other happy loud sounds, including cars, boats, and motorcycles. However, when I am working, particularly on something that requires concentration, I must work in absolute silence. I do not allow anyone who works for me to listen to music, news or other programs involving talking, or talk in loud tones on the telephone or to me. I cannot tolerate this type of distraction when I am working. My job is very stressful and very demanding and, in order to perform it in the excellent way I require of myself (and the way in which I am being paid to perform my job by my clients), I must have a quiet, serene, calm environment. The sound of other people talking is, for me, one of the worst distractions, because I find myself listening to what they are saying instead of reading a document on a complex case on which my company and I have been retained or writing a detailed analysis and report of the high level research we have conducted for a client. Other people may be able to tune out distracting noises, but I am a person who listens to everything and thus, one who is easily distracted by noise. So, while loud is good for me, there are times when even a fan of “loud” must have quiet. Quiet times are essential for my overall well being.
Thankfully, Melissa’s and my offices are situated such that we have the ability to close the door to reduce distractions. But, noisy distractions can transcend doors, windows and walls. Leaf blowers and weed eaters are big offenders. Maintaining focus on technical, detailed work requires concentration beyond what school requires and as such, we have had to train new hires, fresh from college, to learn that, in professional office environments, listening to a radio is not generally acceptable. We may rock out in the car to/from work, but in the office, we need some quiet. Fortunately, we tested out some Bose noise cancelling headphones and they have been great for Melissa in the office to cancel out some of the unavoidable noises that can’t otherwise be eliminated. In the work environment consideration for others includes controlling the noise factor!