I absolutely LOVE my coworking space…BUT…It can be so NOISY at times. Don’t get me wrong, I can add to the din. I also don’t like to work in a library like setting. Any answers?
Can’t Hear My Own Thoughts – Berlin
CoworkingBasics is a fortnightly column by Anna Cashman, market research and social media person for Deskwanted - online portal to find and book coworking spaces worldwide. Are you a coworker, coworking space operator, or just want to know more about coworking? Email her your questions.
Dear Can’t Hear My Own Thoughts,
Despite the fact that some background noise actually increases creativity because it induces a certain amount of discomfort, and, in turn, creates a level of agitation that catalyses more off-beat and outside-the-box thinking, background noise can push the too-loud boundary. This happens in all workspaces, but there are certain methods you can employ to reduce the disquiet (no pun intended).
The first – and most obvious – solution is investing in a good pair of earphones. They will serve to block out voices and loud typers, and, by leaving them off or keeping only one earpiece in, can also show people when you’re able to be interrupted.
Having earphones, or course, is only useful if you can drown out the background noise with music. If you’re like me, however, listening to music can be more distracting than background noise, especially if it’s a tune you really enjoy. Instead, try using www.calm.com. They have a series of 6 tracks that transport you to fields, forests and lake-side spots. There’s even the visual to accompany them, if you need a moment to relax. They can be turned up loudly without hurting your eardrums, and the cicadas and crickets are particularly good for blocking voices.
Second, depending on your budget, you might like to consider renting a private office within your coworking space. Many coworking facilities understand that some of their members require more privacy, so offer closed spaces at more affordable prices than regular offices for rent, with the undeniable advantage of remaining a part of a coworking community.
Third, if you’re a completely flexible coworker, re-consider the times you use the space. High traffic times in a coworking space are mid-week, and in the late mornings to early afternoons. If you simply must finish that deadline, go in a little earlier or a tad later, and avoid the din.
Remember too that coworking space operators are there to help their members feel comfortable – Feel free to ask them to step in when the volume goes beyond a reasonable level, or ask that they hang a couple of posters, like these vintage-looking ones, for example, to remind people that they’re in a working environment.
Even though you may love your coworking space, if you can’t work there, it’s a lost cause. You can always find and book a trial in another one on Deskwanted… and just keep your old one for events and socializing.