Should headphones in the office be banned?
They are the badge of the dotcom and creative industries worker - headphones coupled with staring at a Mac screen oblivious of others unless they send them an email, chat message or 'tweet' direct to their screen but are headphone wearers more productive?
In the traditional so called professional industries wearing 'cans' in the shared office environment is seen by many as anti-social and thought to not foster a team approach but some workplace environments, particularly those that employ workers that program or solo see them as an aide to productivity.
The company music streaming Spotify! encourage their use in their own workplace except on Fridays when the whole workforce have to take their sets off and listen to a corporate playlist - their equivalent of 'dress down Friday' but 80s style guru Peter York wants them banned!
Even amid the apparently constant chatter of a busy, open-plan office, there are moments in the working day when the hubbub dies down and silence briefly reigns.
Silence, that is, disturbed only by a persistent "tss-tss-tss-tss". No, it's not a fault in the air conditioning system, nor is it the boss's temper simmering. It's the person next to you, listening to trebly dance-pop music on their noise-cancelling headphones. And heaven help you if you ask them to turn it down.
Like the tea rota, smelly packed lunches or excessive Facebook usage, headphones are a widespread source of tension in the workplace, and with the advent of streamed music services such as Last.FM and Spotify, it's become even simpler to spend a working day plugged in and tuned out. But if retreating to a musical cocoon to escape the distractions of the office makes an individual more productive, it can also make a team dysfunctional.
Most Recommended Comment
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada