We are having some strain in the team due to the level of noise in the office.
Background: We share a single office with a team of six software developers. We generally have a good team atmosphere, and frequently collaborate, discuss problems and pair program.
However, some team members feel that the room is often too noisy due to discussions between team members. At the same time, most of this discussion is important, and we do not want to suppress it, or stifle it by pushing it to "formal" meetings.
This also seems to partly boil down to different work habits: Some team members prefer a relatively quiet environment, while others thrive if it is a bit more lively.
How can we best resolve this conflict, without either the quiet teammates feeling unable to do work, or the livelier ones feeling suppressed? I am particularly interested in examples of how other teams resolve this, both social and technical solutions.
Some solutions we tried:
- Headphones for screening out the noise: Helps, but not everyone wants to listen to music or white noise the whole time; also, can get uncomfortable after a while.
- Leaving the room for discussions: Also helps, but a) does not work well for short discussions, and b) inconvenient, because we do not have another room nearby where we could go.