Office Music Etiquette

Comments 13 by Rebecca Bollwitt

Aside from losing the “g” on my work laptop, things around the office have been pretty uneventful lately. Gus’ conversation with Dell support about the “g” that keeps popping off on me was rather amusing but aside from that, it’s business as usual.

BarCamp Vancouver It’s before one of our big seasons and there are no stat holidays for another 2 months, nothing will be much fun until the spring now. Something that keeps me going in the mornings is getting to work and plugging in my iPod. Well okay, the music AND a ginormous coffee help me survive the mornings. Usually I just plug it in, open the playlist I was just listening to on my way to work, and continue on from there. I turn my speakers down and find peace in the ambiance I’ve created for myself.

I don’t play my music too loud, I’ve actually turned on my tunes and walked around the newsroom just to see how much of it I can hear from where, and I think I’ve found a pretty good level. Yeah, I’m a dork. The only thing is, what happens when that one kick ass song comes on that I want to CRANK? Do I turn it up a little more for others to hear or do I keep it to myself? These are the current, unspoken, office music rules at my work

  • Only one person may play music at a time
  • You can listen to music as long as no one else can hear it
  • If someone asks you to turn it up that only means that one person would like to hear your music because 2 minutes later a different person will ask you to shut it off or lower the volume
  • If you’re Chris and you play emo, everyone will tell you to shut it off after max. 2.5 songs.

Oooh how about muzak?

The fact that I can walk into work and open up iTunes is pretty neat, seeing as how IT doesn’t even want us to download any programs on office equipment… but that’s a topic for another post. This is the first place I’ve worked where my workstation wasn’t really closed off so I’m learning as I go about respecting the ‘noise pollution’ around others.

So I’m just curious, what are other office’s rules for music out there?

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13 Comments  —  Comments Are Closed

  1. JennyMonday, February 5th, 2007 — 5:33pm PDT

    Don’t forget to include Jenny in the office lotto pool or you will be sorry.

  2. Miss604Monday, February 5th, 2007 — 5:35pm PDT

    They didn’t include you and they won something? :-O

  3. JennyMonday, February 5th, 2007 — 5:46pm PDT

    No they didn’t win, luckily for them !

  4. emo monkeyMonday, February 5th, 2007 — 5:53pm PDT

    it’s interesting how the office muzak has changed with the new faces…but as mister rodney king exclaimed: “can’t we all just get along?” i guess some people just have a tougher time dealing with their emo than others 😉 at least you appreciate the rawkkk, hehe. maybe i’ll catch you at workskies? peace outside.

  5. Miss604Monday, February 5th, 2007 — 6:15pm PDT

    Yeah it went from oldies and Michael Jackson to… J5 and B52s

  6. YvonneMonday, February 5th, 2007 — 6:25pm PDT

    My office is pretty relaxed about music – but then, there are only 6 of us there at the most, and only 3 or 4 of us being in at the same time is more likely. My boss, in his private office, is usually blasting (and singing along to) music from the 70s. The secretary, in the room next to his, sometimes brings in CD’s (mostly movie soundtracks from the 70s and 80s) to play. She shares that office with another part-time girl, who I’m pretty sure has her iPod surgically attached to her ears, so her music doesn’t bother anybody!

    In yet another room, the guy in the cubicle next to me almost always has an online radio feed going, and he’s very considerate about asking “Is it too loud?” If it was country or something hideous I would tell him, “YES!” but he keeps it on either a rock or pop station. When he’s not there, I also use an online radio station to have something to listen to.

  7. GZ ExpatMonday, February 5th, 2007 — 7:49pm PDT

    In my current office, since there are less than 10 westerners in the office…we pretty much play what we want and when. I tend to be the loudest…but once I leave my office and figure that out, I try and turn it down. It’s more of an unwritten rule of courtesy.

    The problem I have around here is the Chinese love of singing out loud with their music! They can’t just leave it at the Karaoke bar…they have to take it to the desk. ughghg. Really bad Canto or Mando pop…the worst.

    Headphones on and The Kooks turned up real loud, are usually the only remedy.

  8. KeithMonday, February 5th, 2007 — 8:51pm PDT

    There’s a bunch of us in our office, and those of us who listen to music typically have headphones on. The headphones are not typically for keeping music (or TCC/RadioZoom!) in, but more to keep the noise pollution out. (Noise pollution is typically the few people who INSIST on using their speaker-phones for conference calls).

  9. BradleyTuesday, February 6th, 2007 — 5:15am PDT

    Just be thankful that im not playing my music at your job

  10. Miss604Tuesday, February 6th, 2007 — 8:41am PDT

    Yvonne: we can’t have anything streaming, the head of IT in our Toronto office monitors bandwidth and we get lashings if we use too much.

    GZ: I want office Karaoke!

    Keith: Man, I wish I could just listen to my headphones but then people would get mad – our environment is SO weird. We’re a newsroom… we hustle n’ bustle and communicate out loud and across the room but… sometimes it’s SO dead quiet and if you a) turn on the lights around your desk or b) turn on music or speak – you get chastised for ruining the ‘calm’ atmosphere or giving someone a headache 😐

  11. KeithTuesday, February 6th, 2007 — 10:42pm PDT

    They monitor your bandwidth?! Oy vey… I guess working for a Telco does have it’s advantages.

  12. ITWednesday, February 7th, 2007 — 8:51am PDT

    IT is watching you. Never understimate IT. They also log what you are browsing.

  13. Miss604Wednesday, February 7th, 2007 — 8:59am PDT

    I don’t think it’s an issue, I do the most work (IT can also monitor the workload via our proprietary software) and I do not write about work, giving a company name. Nor do I mention clients, and co-worker names are noted only with permission. I also think I’m the person to worry about the least in the office when it comes to browsing 😉

    Oh, and if this is really IT, shame on you.

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