With more of us working from the comfort of our sofas, beds and kitchen tables, we’re probably more aware of background noise in and around our homes than ever before. The monotonous hum of the refrigerator, the perpetual droning of road traffic, and those odd unexplainable thumps and bumps can all act as distractions; not to mention the interference from other people sharing the space. Particularly loud noises can also affect other colleagues when on a call or delivering a presentation, so it’s important not to ignore the problem.
If you’ve been spending lots of time working from home during the past few years, you may have mastered your own techniques to ignore the common noises associated with home life. But if you’re still struggling to contend with these potential distractions, consider our top tips to help you stay focused on the task at hand.
Talk to Other Family Members
If there are multiple people in your home during the day, a first port of call could be to talk to them about the noise levels. Perhaps your partner often has the radio turned up too loud, or a housemate is constantly crashing pots and pans about in the kitchen. For everyone, working from home comes with a certain level of compromise. Have these discussions around keeping the noise down during working hours, and you’ll be able to be more productive in your remote role, whilst also alleviating friction between household members.
Relocate to a Quieter Area of the Home
If you have the space to trial different rooms as a remote office, experiment with various parts of the home to find the quietest space. Perhaps that’s in the living room that’s furthest away from a partner who spends all day on calls, or in a bedroom at the opposite end of the home to the kitchen. Some areas will naturally create more noise than others throughout the course of the day, so setting up your remote office in a quieter spot will go a long way towards cutting out lots of the background noise you hear.
Noise-Proof Your Home
Some noise nuisances are impossible to avoid. Many external sources of noise such as car engines, planes, construction work and passers-by can all add to the problems caused by internal sounds within the household. As a result, it can be helpful to take the necessary steps to noise-proof your home as best you can. There are many different ways you can help to reduce extraneous noise from entering your home, both by making small changes to its interior design, and through more large-scale DIY projects.
Small fixes that can help include things like closing the doors, using heavier curtains and moving furniture to partially block noise coming from a specific area. If you have the wherewithal and the resources to make more permanent changes, you should look to seal any cracks in the walls, and replace old windows to add double or triple-glazing. Both of these things will not only help to keep your home nice and quiet, but they’ll also help to stop the warmth escaping, making your home office an all-round more pleasant place to work.
These are just a few of the things you can do to help maintain optimal conditions for productive work in your home. Even if you are working from home just part-time, it’s important to address any issues with noise, to ensure the quality of your work isn’t affected when in a remote setting.