Working in an office cubicle comes with some challenges and the biggest challenge for many people is noise.
When you’re trying to concentrate and get some work done, it can be very distracting to hear other people working so close to you. While it’s impossible to truly soundproof your cubicle, there some things you can do to mitigate the noise as much as possible.
Increase the height of your cubicle walls.
This one might be hard to do and you might not be allowed to do it but it can definitely help reduce noise. If you can get your employer to invest in some cubicle wall extenders, you will notice a reduction in noise.
Adding some height will help minimize the noise coming from at least a few directions. Cubicle wall extenders will also give your cubicle a bit more privacy.
Add some acoustic paneling to your cubicle walls.
Acoustic foam panels are a good way to dampen sound and they are quite affordable.
You can even use acoustic foam to make an artistic or creative statement for your cubicle.
Add some carpet.
Chances are that your cubicle area is already carpeted but if it’s not, it’s a good idea to invest in a rug of some kind. Even if you already have carpeting, adding a rug can help dampen the sound a bit.
As a bonus, it’s yet another way to add a bit of personality to your cubicle space.
Try a white noise machine.
There’s only so much you can do to truly block out the sound in a cubicle. Once you’ve done everything possible to block out and dampen sound, it’s time to focus on ways to mask the noise.
One good way to do this is with a white noise machine. You’ll be able to block out the noise so that you can focus and get things done. It’s also really nice because it will help facilitate better phone conversations.
When there isn’t a lot of distracting background noise, your phone calls will go much more smoothly.
The LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Machine is really highly rated and it’s perfect for office use.
You can choose from ten different electric fan sounds and ten variations of pure white noise, all of which can be adjusted to a range of volumes.
This is great for the days that are extra loud as well as the days when there isn’t much noise to speak of. This tool is powered by either AC or USB.
Invest in Noise Canceling Headphones
A good pair of noise-canceling headphones can make all the difference.
The Bose QuietComfort 25 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones are wireless headphones that are comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time, and they truly block out a remarkable amount of noise.
Other headphones just start to hurt when you wear them for too long but these still feel great even at the end of a long day. The part that touches your face is a super-soft Alcantara and synthetic protein leather with some cushion.
They are ideal for work environments because they have a microphone built right in so that you’re able to seamlessly take calls. You can use the headphones to listen to music (with incredible sound quality) or you can just use the noise-cancelation feature to block out all sound.
Talk to HR About Cubicle Etiquette
Sometimes no matter what you do on your end to minimize noise, there are a few people in the office who are just excessively disruptive. It wouldn’t hurt to mention this to HR and suggest that the team could benefit from some reminders about cubicle etiquette.
No one needs to know that it was your suggestion and some people might genuinely not realize just how loud they are.
If you work in a cubicle farm, you almost certainly know the challenges of a getting work done in a noisy environment. When you follow these steps, you’ll be able to minimize the sound as much as possible while also helping to block the sound out within your personal workspace.
Do you have any other tips for soundproofing a cubicle? Let me know in the comments!