I sit next to a rather underutilized group of four colleagues who engage in long (1-2 hour) daily conversations revolving around current events, politics, etc.

That alone isn't necessarily the problem, however two of them speak very loudly. I've tried wearing noise-cancelling headphones, and listening to music, but these people are so noisy that I still hear them. I can't focus on what I'm doing when this is going.

I've been thinking a lot lately about bringing it to the attention of our manager. She is not aware that this group is underutilized to such an extent, and I feel like if I let her know, she might find some work for them to be do, thus solving my problem.

I don't think I can just go up to these people and ask them to go back to work or hold their conversations elsewhere - they'd just get offended. Not my place to tell them that.

How should I handle the situation?

  • The set-up sounded so much like my own workplace, that for a second I was trying to guess which one of my coworkers you are!
    – AndreiROM
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 18:38
  • There's a lot of irrelevant information that reduces the quality of this question. The content/context of their conversations is irrelevant, as are your thoughts on their workload as is the seating arrangement.
    – sleddog
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 18:38
  • How would your feelings change if they were instead talking about something you had an interest in?
    – sleddog
    Commented Oct 20, 2017 at 18:41

2 Answers 2


I think I can relate to your condition I used to have the same condition.The only thing I did was to indirectly tell my boss(My only senior in the company) that I am not able to concentrate due to my surrounding.That very moment he realized the situation as my performance was going down so the other guys were told to maintain a proper working environment.

So the same I'll suggest to you to do the same Just don't name anyone and let your boss or the senior decide what step to take as this surely is affecting your performance.So they must be happy to learn the cause and will surely take a right step for you.


You should complain with your manager = you cannot work with such noise. If you can, try to move another location (just a suggestion) = maybe a caffeteria or another place noise-free.

My manager is not currently aware that the group is not busy this much of the time, and I feel like if I let her know, she might find some work for them to be doing or communicate to them that they need to be focusing on doing things instead of spending hours disrupting the office with these overtly loud and heated political discussions.

That's her job. You should't worry too much about it, Focused on get out of that noise.

If you haven't tried yet, interrumpt their conversation and say:

Please keep your volume voice down a bit.

Honestly, at this point, you should talk with your manager ASAP. Meanwhile, find another place (if possible) for move your working tools (as I wrote first in my answer).

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