Is a Noisy Workplace Adding to Your Stress?

CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW?

A Globe and Mail newspaper survey found the following workplace noises the most irksome: loud talking (47%); cell phones (16%); co-workers listening to music/playing games (12%); speaker phones(10%). (The noise issue links to a curious trend in Japan where young people are buying “therapeutic ring tones”

for their cell phones, which promise to ease a host of stressors, including hangovers!) Adding to the stress, a recent study found that listening to half a phone conversation is more distracting than overhearing a two-way conversation because our brains get distracted by the missing half of the conversation.

So on the noise front consider a few noise-friendly options:

– Change your ringtone to a more calm or fun ringtone

– Use headphones (especially when listening to Barry Manilow)

– Create a noise-free, tech-free day/half-day/hour at work

– Create a noise-free zone where people who want to read, focus, relax or think can hang out in peace

– Be aware of your own decibel level, something people in airport lounges talking on cell phones seem completely UNAWARE OF!

– Put up fun signs reminding people to be considerate, because it’s not always just what you say, or how you say it, but HOW LOUD you say it!

I’m not suggesting you suck the energy out the place, or turn your workplace into a morgue or library full of shushing police, but we do need to be careful we’re not inadvertently adding to each other’s stress in an increasingly noisy world.

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Mike’s Fun at Work Tip

If you want to combine some wacky fun with some health and wellness benefits tossed in on the side, then hold a hula hoop contest with your team. The longest-lasting hula hooper wins a prize. Guaranteed laughs and as an added bonus it’s a great way to practice the moves required to perfect the “fun dance!”

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Quote of the Week

“Two things reduce prejudice: education and laughter.”

Laurence J. Peter

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It’s a Wacky World

It’s official “Donald Duck Day,” which just quacks me up!

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