How to focus in open plan offices

Earlier this week, I asked the Twitter hive mind for tips how to get focussed work done when working in open plan offices.

I got some great responses (thanks everyone!) so I've captured them here for prosperity…

Put on some headphones

  • Get some headphones
  • The bigger the better
  • Noise cancelling ones are good
  • Listen to white noise
  • Or don't listen to anything – just wear them to discourage people from interrupting you

Work from home

  • That's it really, just work from home more

Manage your calendar

  • Block out slots in your calendar
  • Decline non-essential meetings
  • Plan to do focussed work when you're at your most productive – for me that's early in the morning

Stop using distracting apps

  • Put do not disturb on Slack
  • Turn your emails off
  • Use Focus app to help

Get away from your desk

  • Book yourself a meeting room
  • Use Skype pods and breakout spaces
  • Hide in usability labs
  • Find anywhere that's quiet or tucked away

Be anti-social

  • Scowl at people
  • Put a hoodie on
  • Put up 'do not disturb' signs
  • Make sure people know you're busy

Look after yourself

  • Working in distracting environments can be stressful
  • Don't ignore the problem