How To Get Personal Space In An Open Plan Office Without Looking Like A Weirdo

How to block out all of your co-workers once and forever


by Jess Commons |
Published on

Hey, guys, we get that your co-workers are annoying, hell, we’re right there with you. Imagine what sort of bozos I have to deal with every day here at The Debrief (ONLY JOKING!).

Anyways, whether or not you’re what the call a ‘people person’ or not, there’s definitely times you’d like a little bit of your own space; something that’s kind of problematic in an open-plan office; or your university library for that matter.

Luckily some chaps over in America have invented something really cool that means you can get all the personal space you need from your colleagues and look really, really cool like a total bellend, too.

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**Here's some things that actually will work: **

Block them out

If you can’t hear them, maybe they’ll go away. If you’re the sort that can’t listen to music while you work but still can’t put up with the inane chatter between the two girls sitting next to you (did you know one of their ex-boyfriends is a total douche bag?) then try a website like for some white noise and a fancy pants new pair of headphones to finish off the look.

Hide your face

It’s pretty weird that you spend eight hours a day looking at the same person over the top of your computer screen. You probably know their face better than you know your own. Which is weird, because you don’t actually know anything else about them, except for the fact that when they’re concentrating they hum the first line of I Say A Little Prayer For You over and over again. Block them out and sort your back problem out by stacking your computer on top of a couple of books. Just make sure it’s a sturdy stack yeah? Facilities don’t take kindly to a broken screen.

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Establish boundaries

Especially important if you’ve got a messy neighbour. Traditionally, the boundary between you and your adjacent co-worker falls where your desk ends and hers begins. If she’s big on paper work though, that line might get a little blurry. To counteract this, make use of your larger desk props (inbox tray, phone, stack of books or magazines…) and place them at either end of your desk, thus marking out your terriftory and creating an invisible line which we bet they won’t cross. Enjoy your space sister.

Get something fun going on underneath

Who else can see under your desk apart from you? No-one. Making it your one and only private space in the office. Therefore, get something a little special going on under there, whether it’s a nice rug, a personal mini fridge (that’ll stop Steve in marketing nicking your sandwich), or a meerkat performing a juggling act, whatever it is, just make it yours. It is now your happy place to look down to for a bit of solitude next time your neighbour starts showing off his baby pictures. Again.

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Follow Jess on Twitter @Jess_Commons

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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