Headphones In The Office - Yay or Nay?

Stereotype #67 about Millenials - They love to wear headphones in the office.

We wanted to know if there was truth to this so we asked you!

53% of our followers, who are largely millenials and also young professionals who work in various industries and office environments, said they do not wear headphones in the office. I’m not too surprised as I also fall into this camp, with a few exceptions. I never wear both headphones in the office and cringe at the thought of my manager trying to get my attention and assuming I’m either ignoring him or hard of hearing because he can’t see my headphones blocked by my long hair. (It really is annoying when you try to get a teammate’s attention and you realize they can’t hear you because they have headphones in. So now you have to either go tap them on the shoulder or IM them!) If I desperately need to focus at my desk or just need to drown out the surrounding noise, I will put in just one headphone so that I can still hear someone calling me.

I find that different managers have different tolerance levels for this. Some don’t care at all, or at least are not outspoken about their preference. Yet for others, it might be the unspoken rule that everyone just abides by. You have to get a feel for it yourself by asking coworkers, picking up on any hints dropped, or quite frankly, you can just ask them yourself. When in doubt, go with a headphone in 1 ear as it’s a safe compromise. If it’s something that drives your productivity and focus, then by all means, use both headphones but make sure you are still aware of your surroundings and can hear your name being called. Managers, especially older ones, are learning to accept this as just a harmless way to get in the zone.

What has your experience been? Is there a reason why you do or don’t wear headphones? For those that do, what are you listening to?