What could we do to improve that problem? Have a conversation, find out why your team member prefers the big headphones, and problem-solve together. should I wear my wedding ring to an interview, client demands unlimited time, and more. I feel like if we all worked on our internal communication, wed have a lot less of these kind of things pop up. Knock on the end of my desk. In 2017, a man in Michigan was walking on the train tracks while listening to music through headphones. I would have probably pushed back and went to HR too at that point, since there wasnt enough give and take for this random rule that was being imposed on them, despite having had no issue until one day being pulled into an office and told to stop. If they came up to me in a huff about how I was in complete disregard of their new mandate? My male bosses very quickly understood that I need to have treatment for a medical condition, its not life-threatening, but something I need to take care of to mean Its about my uterus, dont ask. Its a universal code. I read it that way too but then I re-read and I think its two weeks between INFORMAL offer and FORMAL offer. This is the workplace/HR equivalent of a frivolous lawsuit. He may have challenges that you cant see. So for me it doesnt make a difference. Say my name. The wailing and gnashing of teeth over headphones is kind of mind boggling to me. I listen to music in my office. When the printer is making odd sounds or theyre installing something weird in the hall, you cant block it out. But how many internal users are just approaching IT with an issue? I7f So Im very appreciative of having a little music to offset all that booming going on. If anything its only to make it *worse*, cause it wont be as obvious that theyre wearing them. Never fear, you won't begin receiving daily sales emails that belong in a spam folder. I have a different point of view for the OP to consider. What you seemed to be saying is that you find it hard to believe that anyone would need to wear headphones because you yourself work as an admin, and noise isnt a new phenomenon. i use the bose ones and they work great! My issue with DCers comment is that its strongly reinforcing LWs worry and essentially telling them Yep, if you dont provide any details your manager will immediately jump to assuming its about your uterus. Which Im pretty sure is exactly what the LW does not want to hear! I think you would be hard pressed to find a manager who doesnt feel that way. And unless the rule encouraged bullying, harrassment, discrimination (which it might have, but we have no information to support that) hightailing it to HR seems VERY extreme for this situation UNLESS, theres a history of difficulty between these two. They need to be able to work on issues by balancing most pressing/first come first serve/most complicated. Call 800-578-1245 Look for soundtracks, jazz, or classical music for tasks that require thought and consideration. And I dont think either of them are handling it very well. +XeiJt|}V-+6vfeQSYE-+r!u 'x/&EUEeQUdu"B{^$#Xx; },z2";_>l)wS[VegUU1n%, Im also not bluffing. I work in a very small office and no HR. How does someone in the office talk to you about an issue that they need assistance with, if they cannot approach you on a phone call? You wanted an open office, LW, you live with the consequences. I would not have thought oh hey my manager wants me to switch over to earbuds that must take effect right this second and not tomorrow after Ive had a chance to buy a pair of earbuds.. This means that women are underdiagnosed factors such as gender norms make symptoms easier to mask or dismiss. But we dont have enough information to make any judgment at all is what Im saying. I just think earphones and headphones both pose this Oh I have to get their attention thing.). Another tiny ear person chiming in! Or employee vs. servant (this distinction = not my favorite B.T.W.) Im just pointing out that the employees behavior was highly unlikely to be linked to an accommodation considering the conversation leading up to the employee going to HR, and this doesnt at all read to me like a legit reason to go to HR. I would argue that in most workplaces the number of people that have duties that require them to be immediately available for walk-ups is considerably fewer than those that do not. Gabapentin is a structural analog of gamma-aminobutyric acid. For any business, it pays to look for situations where listening to earbuds or headphones may be acceptable and others where an open ears policy should be in place. Yeah, but Im pretty sure my boss just hates headphones. theyre also worse for your hearing, in the long run. Sometimes, MommyMD, you genuinely have valuable insight, but you often deliver it so unpleasantly. I met with one of those employees today to discuss my management rule to use earbuds instead. I think plenty of people have been chiming in saying they wouldnt jump to this conclusion if their employee declined to provide details or used a brush off when asked further (also agreed with you that managers shouldnt ask for detail, but some do out of concern/politeness). Open-mouth lip-smacking gum-chewing in the lab where we work with E. coli bacteria and toxic-ass chemicals. Lost password? My noise cancelling headphones are life savers. Something, almost anything. my company decided to close for 2 weeks last year and charged me a chunk of this years PTO for it, what admin assistants really want from their coworkers, should my spouse have to be background checked for my job, one-way video interviews, and more, my boss keeps asking me to do things that aggravate our community partners, update: my employee wastes a huge amount of everyones time with helpful suggestions and questioning, 8 horror stories for Administrative Professionals Day, HR jokes about firing people, I want to stop giving reasons for my time-off requests, and more. Now, remember all those comments above from people with small or oddly-shaped ears/ear canals who just cannot do earbuds, period? It's been found to improve employee morale, enhance retention, and even promote a positive company culture. But I love mine and they have helped me a lot. If youre the help desk and your primary role is to help people with IT issues, I guess. Please tell me you dont actually manage people. Managers shouldnt be making arbitrary rules that get in the way of doing a job without a business justification. I have kind of weird looking ears and they literally fall out of my head if I move even the slightest bit. These things take time and a lot of courage, usually multiple attempts. I dont know that its universal code. It is entirely possible to be productive in an office with noise around you and Im a little taken aback that people seem to think that headphones are natural part of the office when in fact they are a perk. I wear earbuds to help me block out distractions, such as other conversations, people walking by, noise from the nearby coffee area, and so on. I just take it to mean that its probably not something like a knee injury or a bad back, the type of thing that people tend to be pretty open about, but instead its something medical and they dont want to share. I work around a few people who will, in lieu of saying something to a persons face, choose to stage a conversation that they intend to be overheard instead. Employee Cell Phone Policy. i would leave, thats ridiculous. Create your account How can the employees raise logistical matters, like accommodations or simple workflow tools, in those circumstances? I dont think the manager really has room to get mad about insubordination unless he was still wearing the headphones the NEXT day. If that would still bother OP1, then they need to re-evaluate what they really want here. It is a signal for I am actively trying to concentrate and block out distractions. People know they can interrupt if it is necessary, but they do think twice about non-essential things. I suspect that if you say oh, just some boring stuff, everythings fine, no one will guess its about your Lady Business. Different positions do demand different levels and I was presenting the side that has to do their job without them since very few in this comment section seem to have such jobs. Why couldnt it wait until the end of the day to have a meeting to say Okay so starting tomorrow, were going to only use earbuds.. Intern after that wore those bluetooth earbuds in his ears all the time, including while walking around the office. So, youre saying you would retaliate against an employee who reported a problem to HR? I hope you can find something that helps you. my lying coworker claimed someone said I couldnt eat at my desk, telling recruiters I wont move to states that discriminate, AirTag etiquette, and more. As Rob Walker writes in The New York Times: Should I let a company know that Im declining their offer because of how long they took to get it to me. LW#2: Dont go there. I believe I understand your point about headphones being a productivity tool, but for some positions its not an option and those people still get work done, so sorry, it seems to me like if youre allowed to use a productivity tool that others arent (minus if that reason is for an accommodation), then it is indeed a perk. If I wasnt able to listen to music, Id be far more stressed than I already am. At home, she's content exploring fictional landsSpark an immediate and detailed conversation by mentioning Game of Thrones, Red Rising, Star Wars, or Lord of the Rings. They pull you into another world to help you focus on important work. This policy is ridiculous. Keep in mind that in an open office environment, noticeable headphones can be an asset. I agree that its polite and frankly, its good business sense. Others have pointed out that they would have to remove an earbud, so still a delay. The point Im trying to make is that unless theres an accommodation, an employee doesnt need to use headphones to do their job. If youre fine with people wearing earbuds, you should be fine with them wearing headphones. And before we launch into whether or not the employee needs headphones as an ADA accommodation, Im not going to assume they do or dont (theres no detail that provides that information) What I will assume is that there is potential an issue of trust and communication between the manager and their employee. Its productive for some people to work with noise. Yeah Im somewhat hard of hearing, and because Im young people dont realise until they either startle me or I have to ask for them to repeat themselves. Ohit takes them 5 seconds to remove their headphones and that annoys you?? Talk about making employees so miserable they want to leave. It in fact makes me want to double down on my stance that the original comment wasnt rude. OP2: You really need to dial it way back. It would be one thing if listening to something to focus was banned for everyone, but only for people who cant use earbuds? In many situations, companies have been found liable for employees who were making business-related phone calls or text messages while behind the wheel. Right, it could be embarrassing digestive issues, or something that is unpleasant to describe or discuss but isnt even embarrassing at all. Youll make him faint right there. Yeah, I get the word choice too, but its one of those things where LW just has to decide on a course of action and determine not to let it be weird a brisk tap on their desk/cube wall and a cheery wave? I also am befuddled by the earphones vs. earbuds difference. Yes. I agree with this as I also work in IT, and think we need to be aware of what is happening around us, though we also have days where we can work on projects and it helps to have something as a buffer for distractions. 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