To think that I should be allowed to work where I want to?

(77 Posts)
HootyMc0wlFace Fri 27-May-16 11:13:42

I have just come out of a meeting with my line manager and told that I am no longer allowed to work in the library every morning. The "library" is actually a small meeting room with desks and a few books where we are allowed to work quietly and talking is banned. I work in an open plan office so this room is like heaven. I spend the morning there powering through the important work that I need to focus on, go to lunch then spend the afternoon at my desk.

So apparently my routine is sending the wrong message, somehow. I don't look like a team player, I look like I "hide" in there too apply for jobs, and other ridiculous allegations. Someone has been using that room to do some online shopping and I suspect they think that I also piss about in there not doing work.

But the thing is, this is the only time I get any meaningful work done. I resent each afternoon spent at my desk because I can hear every conversation and it is distracting. 100 people taking calls, talking to each other about clients or their weekend plans - the chatter is overwhelming. A task that should take me 10 minutes can drag out for an hour. I know some people listen to music but I find that too distracting.

I just need peace and quiet. Why is this too much to ask for? Why am I being punished? angry I know from prior experience that I'll get very little done if I am forced to sit at my desk all day every day.

Has anyone else been in this situation? How do I deal with this?

readytorage Fri 27-May-16 11:15:53

Can you put headphones in at your desk and drown the world out?

DoreenLethal Fri 27-May-16 11:15:56

Can you get some huge headphones so that you can block out all the shite?


Introduce him to the concept of the 'introvert' and that all that excess noise inhibits you doing actual work which is incidentally what you are being paid to do.

Do he have his own office or does he work in with everyone else?

spankhurst Fri 27-May-16 11:16:43

You have my utmost sympathy. I'm lucky enough to share an office with just one person who's often away. Have you explained to your line manager exactly why you work in there?

Is team-playing crucial to your role, or is just a nice byproduct that makes no material difference to your output?

Hodooooooooor Fri 27-May-16 11:16:43

You aren't being punished. If you can't do your job properly in the office environment thats your own problem. A ten minute job takes you an hour because you can hear other people? Come off it.

I know from prior experience that I'll get very little done if I am forced to sit at my desk all day every day

Then you'll get fired.

Modestandatinybitsexy Fri 27-May-16 11:20:44

I think if you work with other people a certain amount of noise is to be expected. It's distracting but it's something everyone in an open plan office has to contend with. It does look antisocial to squirrel yourself away every morning.

Can't you ask for a message to go round requesting for all unnecessary conversations to be taken elsewhere?

It does make you wonder what the quiet room is supposed to be used for if you can't have meetings there or use the space to work quietly.

babyboyHarrison Fri 27-May-16 11:21:59

Think you are being a little unreasonable here. I assume it was obviously an open plan office when you accepted the job. It's reasonable to have to go somewhere quiet occasionally but sounds like you'd set up shop there if you could.

Bishybishybarnabee Fri 27-May-16 11:24:11

Does you being in the other room inadvertently cause any additional work for your colleagues, eg answering your phone/you're not taking your turn answering general phone calls etc?

PPie10 Fri 27-May-16 11:24:24

When you took on the job you didn't work in a quiet room so how is it only now you can't work open plan. It does seem a bit off that you want to be on your own and have made it a routine.

trixymalixy Fri 27-May-16 11:32:58

YABU. It is really off if you are part of a team to seclude yourself away from the rest of them for most of the day.

You really need to find a way to cope with it if you want to continue to work there. Taking an hour to do a 10 minute job is just ridiculous.

GreenTomatoJam Fri 27-May-16 11:33:07

This is the trouble with open plan - I have similar issues, and have a nice, big pair of headphones. Half the time I'm not even listening to music, I'm just using them as a 'leave me alone - I'm concentrating' signal.

It's well known that private offices are much better for getting things done. If you're getting less done, they'll just have to take that hit (or you'll have to start looking for new job where you'll be happier)

HootyMc0wlFace Fri 27-May-16 11:33:11

I can't wear headphones because even music is distracting. A lot of other people do though.

No one has their own office.

It doesn't matter where I am re phones because everyone has a mobile phone. And I get maybe 2 calls per month at the most, almost all communication is via email.

I didn't suddenly develop an inability to work in a noisy open plan office, I have always been like this. I needed a job and I took it, I couldn't really be picky and I found out that they had the library and thought that this is how I would manage and it's worked great so far. Before that at previous jobs I would come in early or take a late lunch to get some quiet. I would also end up doing big things like papers at home over the weekend.

Hodooooooooor Fri 27-May-16 11:35:13

If you can't get any work done at your desk, what are you doing all afternoon while you are at your desk?

PerspicaciaTick Fri 27-May-16 11:36:51

Could you not try noise cancelling earphones? If your manager agrees of course.

Damselindestress Fri 27-May-16 11:37:30

Headphones don't have to mean music, you can get noise cancelling headphones.

PoundingTheStreets Fri 27-May-16 11:41:05

IT may be worth going back to your line manager with a well-reasoned proposal as to why this works for you. You'll need to evidence your greater productivity when working in the library to show that there is a material gain for your employer if they let you do this.

Ultimately, however, unless you have a named cognitive impairment to explain your inability to work in a noisy office, this is something you cannot expect to claim special treatment for and unfortunately you'll either have to suck it up or find alternative employment.

Damselindestress Fri 27-May-16 11:42:22

Sorry x-post

tigermoll Fri 27-May-16 11:44:48

Presumably, you being the in 'library' every day means that no one else can use it? If you have essentially staked it out as your personal office, then I can see why your colleagues/line manager aren't happy about that.

You say you need 'peace and quiet' and that it isn't 'too much to ask' but actually, it IS too much to demand a private room to work in, if that was not on the cards when you took the job.

Since the library is not an option could you try:

--coming in either early or later to take advantage of the office being quieter
-- ask to work from home some of the time
-- use noise cancelling headphones
--ask to have your desk moved to a quieter part of the office (if there is one)
--Look for a new job.

I'm afraid that asking your colleagues to work in silence is neither practical nor fair.

Dragongirl10 Fri 27-May-16 11:45:29

l get where you are coming from ...l work much faster and more efficiently in silence. Open plan office would be my idea of hell.

Could you say to your manage you are happy to copy him into your work completed ( if thats possible) for a set time....a week/month/regularly.. so he/she can see your output...maybe then you will be allowed to continue.

Perhaps if you explain your reasons and add the above they may see your point of view.

HootyMc0wlFace Fri 27-May-16 11:48:20

If you can't get any work done at your desk, what are you doing all afternoon while you are at your desk?

I mostly do admin and low-priority things. When I say I don't get anything done I mean nothing important - things that could be done today or next week and it wouldn't make a difference.

It's just frustrating because I was in a good routine and I took this job partly because they emphasised their flexible working options; this library or working from home.

I don't like the fact that I am being judged for working on my own but people who come in and chat all day are left to it just because they are at their desks.

HootyMc0wlFace Fri 27-May-16 11:53:24

Presumably, you being the in 'library' every day means that no one else can use it? If you have essentially staked it out as your personal office, then I can see why your colleagues/line manager aren't happy about that.

I wouldn't complain if that was the case and I was hogging it.

There are several desks which are like cubbies with tall-ish dividers. There is enough space for 6 people but it's only ever been full a couple of times. Usually people come and go.

GarlicShake Fri 27-May-16 11:57:50

YANBU to not like the fact that you're being judged for working alone. But your boss INBU to want a harmonious team. If that means physically being where the team is, then it's part of your job.

Ear defenders / noise cancelling headphones look like the way to go smile

GarlicShake Fri 27-May-16 12:00:44

Or just earplugs!

Headphones give out the message you're cutting yourself off. Whether that's a problem or a benefit depends on the dynamics of your situation - if other people wear them, it's probably acceptable.

Earplugs are more 'stealth' wink

LotsOfShoes Fri 27-May-16 12:00:53

Yabu. You seem to think you are somehow special. You're not. Everyone struggles and everyone has to adapt. Hiding out sends the wrong messge to the rest of the team. You're in no way better than everyone else and don't deserve special treatment. Do your job or quit.

HootyMc0wlFace Fri 27-May-16 12:02:35

But how is it less antisocial to sit there with headphones? The team doesn't really need to be together unless for meetings because there are people who work from home and clearly their absence from the rest of the team physically isn't having a detrimental effect on team spirit. I think this is about appearances and I don't see why it should be.

I think I will outline a case for working in the library and have a chat with my boss.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now