Argh – a noisy office is so annoying when you’ve got a tonne of work to do, isn’t it?

Only, the truth is you’ve probably contributed to noisy offices yourself in the past. We all do it now and again, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with having a laugh or running a vibrant office full of chatter, keyboard tapping and ringing phones.

But how do you stay focused and ultimately productive in a busy open-plan office?

Pop on some headphones

It’s not for everyone, but music is a great way to close yourself off from the rest of the world when you need laser-sharp focus.

Find a decent pair of over-ear headphones, pop them on when it gets too noisy and play something that won’t distract you from your work. Just double-check you’re allowed to first, of course!

Switch up your environment occasionally

If your office features pods, breakout areas or is only a few yards away from a coffee shop, try changing your environment when it all gets a bit much.

A change of scenery is sometimes all you need to find regain your productivity mojo away from the hustle and bustle of the office.

Work from a to-do list

The real reason you’re finding it difficult to be productive in an open office may not be down to those making the noise.

Do you know exactly what you need to achieve each day or are you working from a hazy memory of promises? By using a to-do list that is realistic, checked each morning and treated as your work bible, you’ll be able to get down to serious productivity in even the busiest of open-plan offices.

tidy desk

Keep a tidy desk

A tidy desk fosters a healthy, positive approach to work, and if you happen to work in a busy open-plan office, it’ll be a godsend.

Only keep the stuff out that you’re working on currently and become a meticulous filer of the documents and paraphernalia to which you no longer need to refer.

Focus on one task at a time

If you’re working on a big project or have a bunch of disparate tasks that need to be completed, avoid trying to do them all at once.

When you work in a busy office, focusing on one task at a time will ensure you don’t get lost in a maze of to-do items and the background hum will become just that.

If it gets too much – speak to a superior

Sometimes, no matter what you do you simply can’t work as effectively as you should be able to in an open-plan office.

If you’ve tried all of the above and feel there’s simply too much procrastination taking place or needless noise being made, speak to your boss. They have a duty of care to ensure you can do your job to the best of your ability.

Final thought

The best news? The list above will work in absolutely any office environment – even if you happen to be in there on your own.

Productivity tips are universal – integrate them into every corner of your working life and you’ll be more productive than you ever thought possible.