How do I tell a co-worker to turn off her music or at least wear headphones? My boss seams to be ok with her listening to the music, but it really bothers me. I have tried to ask her to shut her door or turn it down, but she doesn't.

  • Do other coworkers experience this same discomfort as you? Perhaps if you get others to ask her to turn down the music in group would be more effective. – DarkCygnus Apr 15 '19 at 19:10
  • So, Play your own music... Then if your manager complains, they have to do something about both of you... – Solar Mike Apr 16 '19 at 8:13

"How do I tell a co-worker to turn off her music?"

You don't. You are not your co-worker's boss, and you can only "ask", not "tell".

Some steps you can take:

  1. Ask her nicely if she wouldn't mind turning her music off or down. Sounds like you have already done this with no effect.
  2. Ask again, but making it clear that it really bothers you and is interfering with your work (if it is). Make sure you stay polite.
  3. Ask your boss if he/she could do something about it, making it clear again the effect this is having on you. Sounds like you've already done this with no effect.
  4. Put up with it. Maybe get some noise cancelling headphones of your own.

Since the music is being played through speakers not headphones it would seem likely that other people in the office have no objection, and maybe even like it. There are workplaces like that. Do not be the person who insists that there be quiet because you like it that way, even if other people prefer the opposite.

  • 3
    I have "noise-cancelling" headphones for this very purpose. They are cheap ones and function more as an earplug that plays music, than active noise canceling headphones. I'll even leave them in with no music playing sometimes. Also works great for ignoring people you don't want to speak with. – noslenkwah Apr 15 '19 at 19:28

If your boss is okay with the music there might not be much you can do other than nicely asking. You can't really force someone to do something though- especially if that person's boss doesn't agree with you.

Since you mention doors in your post- perhaps you can shut your own door to make your personal work environment more quiet. If your coworker has a door and you do not- perhaps you can bring your own noise cancelling headphones and block out their noise with some of your own- or better yet- if your office space has common areas throughout the building you can move to one of those if it will be quieter for you.

Office spaces certainly come with distractions and sometimes there isn't really much to do about it. Good luck

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