As a customer-facing representative — whether you work in sales, service, or support — you’re probably used to working in a busy, noisy office space. Maybe you work on a loud sales floor surrounded by reps chatting on the phone with leads. Perhaps you work in an office space with customer service and support reps working to assist customers over the phone or video chat throughout the day.
Whatever the cause of your workspace being noisy, it’s not always easy to block out the environment around you. That’s why we’ve compiled the following list of tips and tricks HubSpotters use to stay productive and focused in a noisy, busy, and sometimes, distracting workspace.
Before diving into the examples from HubSpotters, let’s take a look at some all-encompassing and actionable techniques to improve your productivity.
How to Deal With a Noisy Office
- Block time on your calendar or communicate your need for disruption-free time to your coworkers.
- Invest in noise-canceling headphones.
- Listen to white noise or music (specifically, without lyrics).
- Move around, find a quiet space elsewhere, or work remotely when possible.
- Make daily to-do lists and micro-goals, then cross them off items upon completion.
- Experiment with tactics that are specific to your particular role in the office.
Now, let’s hear from HubSpotters about how they use these specific tips and techniques.
1. Block time on your calendar or communicate your need for disruption-free time to your coworkers.
- “One of my staples is creating a ‘working signal’. Since I’m typically on calls and that signifies I’m unable to chat, I usually keep my headphones on to show that I’m still at work. When my headphones come off that means I’m available to speak with or help others. I’ll also find a booth or another area where I know fewer people so I’m less tempted to converse and can focus on the task at hand.” — John Vassar, Customer Onboarding Specialist, HubSpot HQ
- "I find while working in a collaborative environment, people still approach you even if you have headphones on — so, I recommend informing your team in advance when you need time to focus. I set 30 to 60-minute blocks in my calendar that I try to religiously follow. During this time, I won’t get up or go for a wander or banter with any of my colleagues.” — Ricky Huang, Principal Account Executive, HubSpot Sydney
2. Invest in noise-canceling headphones.
- “My headphones have a noise-cancelation feature that I can turn on when it’s really loud. That's typically what a lot of us on the team do.” —Ado Kawuba, Partner Specialist, HubSpot HQ
- “I have noise-canceling headphones (Sony WF-1000XM3) that I wear when I don’t need to be on a call, but have to work on a proposal or something else with a hard deadline.” — Ricky Huang, Principal Account Executive, HubSpot Sydney
3. Listen to white noise or music (specifically, without lyrics).
- “When I need to just put my head down and focus on doing some work, I usually play white noise which helps block everything else out.” — Sotiria Qirjazi, Customer Onboarding Specialist, HubSpot Dublin
- “I like my classical music — it keeps me focused and blocks out the noise. I stick with music without words so I don’t get distracted singing in my head (typing lyrics into emails!).” — Zoya Khatuntseva, Senior Channel Account Manager at HubSpot, HubSpot HQ
4. Move around, find a quiet space elsewhere, or work remotely when possible.
- "I know firsthand the toll that working on a noisy sales floor can have on reps, so I encourage my team take the time they need to move around the office, visit HubSpot's Meditation Room, work remotely (and work on a flex-schedule, if possible), or just take a break when they feel overwhelmed. This helps improve overall productivity — remember, sometimes you need to sit out an inning to play the whole game." — Dan Love, US Sales Manager, HubSpot HQ
- “While working as a rep, I’d get up and take breaks between my calls. Leaving your desk can do wonders for resetting your focus, especially if you're given a few minutes to write case notes between calls. I’d write my notes quickly and use any extra time to leave my desk, walk around, get coffee, etc. This helped me reduce fatigue and stress whenever I felt it was a very busy or noisy day.” — Clint Fontanella, Service Blog Writer and Editor (former Customer Support Rep), HubSpot HQ
- “I like to grab my laptop and work from somewhere else in the office between my calls to get some time to focus.” — Sebastian Ferreira, Customer Support Specialist, HubSpot Sydney
- “I find that scheduling time to work remotely one day a week or a few times a month really increase productivity levels.” — Serena Shah, Sales Partner Manager, HubSpot HQ
- "I typically take my calls on the sales floor, but when I need time to focus, I'll move to a quiet area of the office to get work done." — Tim Ferraro, Principal BDR, HubSpot HQ
5. Make daily to-do lists and micro-goals, then cross them off items upon completion.
- “I stay productive with HubSpot Tasks and I create micro-goals for myself throughout the day to help me stay focused and make things easier to digest. For example, a micro-goal may be, 'For the next hour, I'm going to either just make calls or strictly focus on my follow-up emails.'" — Cam Karosis, Small Business, HubSpot HQ
- "Make a list of what you want to accomplish that day, so when you get distracted and forget what you were doing, you can reference the list. Additionally, crossing something off a list is very cathartic." — Serena Shah, Sales Partner Manager, HubSpot HQ
6. Experiment with tactics that are specific to your particular role in the office.
- “When my customers can hear it’s noisy in the background, I work harder to ensure they know I’m focused on their problem rather than what’s going on around me. Sometimes, when they hear noise, I worry they’ll be concerned that I’m not completely understanding or hearing their problem. To show I’m 100% focused on them, I try to be more conversational so they can tell I’m fully invested in our conversation and not what is going on in the background.” — Katelyn Tierney, Customer Support Specialist, HubSpot HQ
Stay Focused and Productive
No matter what your current technique is for staying productive on a noisy floor, don’t be afraid to chat with your fellow reps about their favorite tactics. Or, try using one of these tips from HubSpotters located across the globe. Who knows? You might just find your new favorite strategy.