10 Rules for Surviving Your Open Plan Office

Make Use of Helpful Technology
Headphones are a blessing in open plan offices. 4774344sean/iStock/Thinkstock

Sometimes all it takes is a little technology to help you withstand the challenges of an open office. Can't stand your colleagues' constant chatter? Try wearing noise-cancelling headphones while you work. You can also look for a website or app like Simply Noise that has a variety of white noise and environmental sounds to use for background. If you prefer music at work, a study showed that, for best results, listen to classical music if you're dealing with numbers; pop music for data entry or deadlines and dance music when proofreading or problem-solving [source: Davidson]. Bu do your neighbors a favor and listen to your tunes through headphones or a headset.

Here's another way, technology can help you deal with distractions: Tell your always-popping-in co-workers to send you an instant message first, asking if you're free to talk. Even low-tech devices can make your open-plan work experience more pleasant. Is the overhead light too dim? Get a desk lamp or try to wrangle a seat next to a window.