Headphones or Not?

Earlier this month, I read a blog about headphones in the office. As a PR agency, we have a no headphone policy, because really if you have headphones in your ears, chances are you aren’t picking up the phone. That seems obvious.  But as we’ve grown, we have writers and creative designers in the office and their work lends itself to getting lost in music or drowning out chatter to increase those creative juices.

But the article revealed a few things that got me thinking.  Maybe those headphones are just as bad for the creative people as they are for us, just in a different way. And what about the gchat sessions that everyone has up, yes a few may be with co-workers, but how many are with friends or family. What do those do for our productivity level? That could be an entirely different blog post!

So here are my questions, feel free to chime in with your thoughts.

If you are wearing headphones or g-chatting with your BFF…..

Are you missing out on opportunities to contribute and advance? The best ideas often come from impromptu group conversations, not scheduled meetings.

Are you isolating yourself in such a way that you aren’t building personal relationships with co-workers?

What does it say about your office culture if you can’t walk up to someone’s desk without the feeling that you are interrupting something super important?

Obviously, there are pros and cons to headphones and technology advances such as gchat, and the pros may outweigh the cons,  but every office must decide on a balance that fits its situation and culture. What are your thoughts? Do you wear headphones? If so, would love to hear from you!

By, Heather Graham

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