Recently, the cubicle walls on the floor I work on were lowered to foster better communication amongst team members. All it did was enable people to talk louder across cubicles and that usually happens when I’m on a call. Go figure.
While I do listen to music with earphones to drown out other people’s conversations or weird body sounds, sometimes it can be a bit too distracting. Believe it or not, the office floors are outfitted with hidden speakers that pump out white noise, to little effect.
Instead, I’ve turned to ambient noise generating websites to see if they are a better alternative to music. Studies have shown that background noises improve focus and productivity. Since I’m all about those two things, it was worth a try. The first website I used was Coffitivity. Imagine yourself in a cafe, taking in the aromas of fresh brewed coffee while you drink the crappy office brew. There are three free background tracks to choose from. All are variants of indiscernible background conversations with occasional sounds of silverware making contact with plates. To access the other tracks, you’ll have to subscribe to for a small fee.
The website I prefer is Noisli. While it only has one cafe track, there are other options such as rain, thunder, wind, a variety of noises, and others. There’s even a simple text editor that cycles through different background colors.
If you want some no frills noise, I highly recommend SimplyNoise.
Now you can drown out your coworkers without actually drowning them.