I work in an office that's by and large very quiet and relaxed... until recently. A new member moved onto our team and oh sweet jesus does he make a noise... typing.

He literally smashes the return key and spacebar so much so that my desk actually shakes and my monitor shakes. I'm a programmer and find it super distracting. Normally I try listening to music but that's not always possible especially if i'm pair programming with another developer.

If it was someone whistling and humming I would politely ask them to stop. But to ask someone to type quieter... seems... it just seems a bit cheeky even if he does sound like he's using a hammer to type.

How do I deal with this issue its driving me insane and its starting to affect my work as i'm finding it increasingly difficult to concentrate.

I know some people do type louder than others, especially on mechanical keyboards but this is unreal, i've never seen anyone slam his hands on his keyboard like this fella.

  • 2
    Maybe it is the keyboard and not him?
    – Sandra K
    Mar 27, 2018 at 16:24
  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Loud keyboards and coworkers
    – gnat
    Mar 27, 2018 at 16:53
  • 4
    @gnat I don't see that as a dup and it is closed.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 27, 2018 at 17:09
  • 2
    I don't get how someone has strong enough fingers to shake a desk and monitor.
    – paparazzo
    Mar 27, 2018 at 17:11
  • 2
    Is it possible that the enter key and/or the space bar on that keyboard is a bit dodgy, and he's gotten into the habit of hitting them harder so as to avoid - from his perspective - the frustration of interrupted typing flow? Perhaps that could be a good way to start the conversation; "oh is your spacebar giving you gyp as well? Yeah mine was like that before, here, let me show you how to request a new one..." Jun 14, 2018 at 15:49

3 Answers 3


He has no idea what a nuisance he has become to you, so any idea that involves bringing in HR or his manager is overkill at this stage.

There is going to be nothing more effective than having a quick, non-confrontational chat with him to the tune of "Dude, you're driving me bonkers the way you pound your keyboard...Can we find a solution that works for the both of us?"

Before you do this though, research some solutions you can propose, e.g. different keyboard, soft mousepads under the keyboard, etc.

  • 13
    Before you do this - be sure to think how you would react if someone said your normal typing style was disruptive to them. Approach with care. Mar 27, 2018 at 17:32
  • 1
    I would focus on the fact this person types so hard it makes a desk shake. Seems excessive not too much to ask to stop.
    – user8365
    Mar 27, 2018 at 19:46
  • My point is, the heavy typist is almost certainly just typing in the way they have always typed. They may, for example, have at some time used a mechanical typewriter which needed more force on the keys. Asking them to change now, even if they could, could very well impinge on their productivity / job satisfaction / willingness to work alongside the OP. Mar 27, 2018 at 23:41
  • 1
    @JoeStevens: A lack of willingness to find a mutually agreeable compromise is a considerable problem as to how that employee expects to be treated by their employer. Avoiding addressing an actual problem on the off chance that the person causing the issue will get offended; implicitly allows them to refuse to compromise; while also showing bad employee management in general. Even if what you said is true, then the OP has an equal right to be offended that he's seated next to such a loud typer, which renders us in a stalemate as to which employee gets what they want.
    – Flater
    Mar 28, 2018 at 8:22
  • Yes Its quite obvious I suppose I should just have a chat to him, but im a coward and hate confrontation. Its difficult because its literally his job to type. As I said before if it was humming or whilsting id have no problem with saying "could you stop that please" But its like hey stop typing you're too loud...just seems cheeky. The keyboard is a basic microsoft keyboard, so its not even mechanical. I dont think putting anything underneath it will help. What ive noticed is when he's typing letters its not too bad its when he presses space or enter he literally smashes them. Mar 28, 2018 at 10:01

Just say "whoa" and laugh a few times he does it, he'll get the hint. It doesn't need to turn nasty and you dont need to embarrass him by "having a chat" about it.

  • 1
    I know someone who did that with a co-worker who answered the phone very loudly, and it didn't work.
    – user
    Jun 14, 2018 at 8:35
  • It was probably worth the try tho...
    – solarflare
    Jun 14, 2018 at 23:42

Tell him that what he does is damaging his body. Seriously.

There is very, very little force needed to type on any normal keyboard. All the noise that you hear is force going into the table and making it shake, and an equal amount of force is going into his fingers, hands, and arms, and does damage. That's why a good typist has their fingers at the shortest possible distance to the keyboard. Usually the fingers are actually resting on the keyboard.

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