We’re in the heart of the holiday season, which means that many of us will be attending end-of-the-year work parties, getting together with friends and going home for a family visit. Whenever we interact with a large group of people, different preferences always arise. These discussion topics could be political, carnivores vs. vegans or Patriots vs. Packers.
As more and more companies move toward open-office setups, I like to think that workers with different ideas and preferences can coexist amicably just as well as (most) relatives do at the dinner table. Everyone brings different perspectives with them to work. Sometimes these are generational. Sometimes they’re a reflection of an employee’s workstyle.
We all need to bring our best selves to work, but we also need to accept that we all have a different opinion of what that means.
Poly creates the tools that make these interactions not only bearable but enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their work style. Let’s look at just one example: office noise distractions.
Our company recently sponsored a survey of more than 5,000 people around the world asking what they found most distracting about the offices they work in. Given that many people now work in open-office spaces, the top answers were probably not surprising: co-workers talking too loudly on the phone or within earshot.
I’ll point out that these results were not skewed by generation – everyone hates sitting next to a loud talker.
More than half of Gen Zers (52%) say they are most productive when they were working around noise or talking with others. But 60% of Boomers say they’re most productive when it’s quiet. That’s not a huge discrepancy, but then factor in additional variables like people who talk at their desk vs. those who take calls in a conference room, people who thrive with a buzz of activity vs. those who like to work in a bubble of silence. All of these people want to be their best, but you can see how there can’t be a uniform solution for every taste.
I think we can all agree that there’s much to learn from working alongside co-workers of different ages and styles, and there are also technologies that can help us collaborate better under the same roof.
As CEO of a technology company whose solutions include noise-cancelling headsets and collaboration hardware, I found our workplace-distraction survey findings reaffirming. They mean that even though we’re a leader in our field, there is still a big wide world of office workers for us to de-distract.
Perhaps someday we’ll even have a product that can mute your uncle’s conspiracy theories.