I work in an open space office and one of our new colleagues has a really bad nervous tic. Bad luck for me, he sits close to me. His disease includes quite loud coughs, body jolts, jumps, shacking, twitches. This is very sudden and happens with a period of 5-10 seconds. The guy is really shy and doesn't talk to anyone. I am forced to wear earphones with earplugs but I can hear his jumps even through them. I talked to a couple of colleagues who I can trust and they notices the same. The regulations in the office is such that we cannot switch our seats freely (because of PC security). What can I do? Should I talk to HR/my supervisor?
Maybe, he has a serious medical condition that makes it very difficult for him to control his movements.
If his conditions unfortunately interrupt your workflow or reduce your productivity, you can gently ask your manager about what to do. Maybe, the manager can find out a solution that works well for everyone such as moving people around the floor to quiet cubicles or offices.
Just be nice to both the manager and this coworker. Don't say anything negative about anyone.
At this early stage, perhaps, you should not contact HR, which may occasionally escalate things very quickly beyond your control.