How to Deal With a Loud Person at Work

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Loud co-workers are distracting. They invade your workspace with their mere existence. They can talk loudly, chew loudly, whistle loudly or move their chair loudly. They even breathe loudly. A loud co-worker can interrupt your concentration and make you less productive. A loud co-worker can breed resentment amongst quieter co-workers, creating an unpleasant work environment. If you've spent weeks politely ignoring your loud co-worker, but nothing has changed, try the following suggestions to create a quieter work environment.

  • Talk to your colleague. Maybe your colleague doesn't realize just how loud he is. Diplomatically and professionally tell your colleague that you work in close proximity and that his volume is affecting your productivity. Not all colleagues will be receptive to such a professional request for quiet. Even if you think your colleague will not respond well to your request, you must try talking to him before you take any further measures. It's unfair and unprofessional to complain to your supervisor before talking to your loud colleague yourself. Ask your colleague to lower his voice first.

  • If you tried asking your colleague to keep his voice down and he continues to speak at an inappropriate volume, it's time for an intervention.

  • Enlist the help of your Human Resources department. If you're bothered by your co-worker's volume, it's possible you're not alone. Send an email to your Human Resources explaining that you spoke with your co-worker and requested he lower his volume and that your colleague has not yet responded to your request.

  • If your colleague remains distractingly loud, ask to be relocated to a quieter area.

  • If you cannot be relocated, try earplugs, a radio or a white noise machine to ease the distraction.

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