Headphones at the Workplace


An emerging and somewhat accepted office behavior that’s been spreading through the corporate landscape is the use of personal music devices.  After all, many people listen to music while they study and it helps them concentrate, so why not at work?  Look around the office and you’re bound to see someone with a pair of headphones on, listening to music.

From the typical office grunt to senior managers, listening to music at work seems to be accepted nowadays.  Of course that doesn’t mean there aren’t rules of etiquette to follow.

  1. No dancing or rocking out to the music, you will look crazy.
  2. Mind the volume level, make sure your headphones don’t leak sound and disturb your neighbors.  Plus, do you really want your neighbors to know that you’re listening to the Titanic movie theme song?  Didn’t think so.
  3. Make sure the volume doesn’t drown out phone rings, email notifications, and most importantly, people.   The worse is when someone comes up behind you and taps you on the shoulder to get your attention.  Been there, done that.
  4. Stick to the in-ear type of headphones.  I hardly think wearing one of Dr. Dre’s Beats headphones is appropriate for the corporate setting.
  5. When leaving your workspace, take off the headphones, walking around the office with them is unprofessional.


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