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One Accessory Every Open Workspace Needs


You know when you think something is just a gimmick, but then you're proven otherwise?  This recently happened to me.  Of all things, noise cancellation headphones.  I placed them with heated car seats.  While I thought heated car seats were unnecessary, during a visit last winter to a locale that actually has winter and snow, I learned how wonderful they really are on a cold day.

There are different styles of open workspace plans and the building I work in has what I would term a semi-open floor plan.  We have a section of desks surrounded by a large cubicle wall.  Our team sits in the same section or "bullpen".  It's a great setup because we can easily talk to each other as we're working together.  A very collaborative environment.


As you can imagine, if a lot of teams are collaborating things can get a bit noisy.  The noise isn't an issue when working with my team mates in the same bullpen.  Sometimes it's a distraction to have others around me making noise when I want to focus on work, especially when developing collateral.

Plantronics Backbeat Pro headphones with noise cancellation and I am hooked.  I used to think if I wanted quiet to work, I could just use those foam ear plugs, but they're not the best for a work environment.  I would have to keep taking them out and putting them in.  They don't even work as well.  My other option is to work from home, which is something I embrace and do, but sometimes because my calendar, I have to be in the office.

Background noise can also be an issue when working on the phone.  I didn't realize these headphones had a mic built in.  I thought they were just for noise cancellation and listening to music.  There's no boom mic on them.  Turns out you don't need a boom mic.  With bluetooth and NFC I am wirelessly connected to my mobile phone, desk phone, and computer.  With a tap of a button I can now answer any phone and continue working without having to adjust or pick up a different device.

I've been in an open workspace for some time now and I'm a fan of the environment.  I find I'm more collaborative with my team, I'm more connected with other coworkers, and the environment is conducive to getting things done.  Now,  I'm also able to focus when I need to, watch videos without disturbing those around me, and not be distracted by background noise when on the phone.  What are your thoughts on the open workspace?  Has your company embraced it?  Would you provide noise cancellation headphones as a new company issued device to bring in the talent you're wanting?

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