Very recently, the company I work for has decided to introduce a blanket ban on headphones in the company. The reasons for introducing the ban are: * Wearing headphones make employees seem unapproachable. * The customer facing departments are not permitted to wear headphones, mainly due to a high amount of sales calls. Therefore, it's only fair that headphones are banned for everyone else too.
While I do think there is some merit in these reasons, I don't agree with them completely.
I work in an open plan office and the office space is very crowded with a fair amount of people in a small amount of office space. My role in the company is a Software Engineer and I spend the majority of my day programming. I find that I need a sustained amount of concentration to do my work to a good standard. I feel that listening to music helps me maintain a high level of productivity at work.
Unfortunately, because of the nature of the open plan office, there can be a lot of background noise and chatter. I find it difficult to concentrate without the music to block out all of these distractions. With the banning of headphones I feel that my productivity is lower because of the increased difficulty to work uninterrupted.
As far as I'm aware only people on my team used headphones and people in other departments chose not to. And strangely enough the policy was introduced rather sharply. I don't believe we have done anything wrong to instigate the changing of the policy. I have always conducted myself in a polite manner. Always removing headphones when my colleagues approach me for conversation.
Speaking to many friends and contacts in other businesses of a similar nature this seems to be a rather rare and unusual policy. I may be mistaken since people I know only make up a small sample of people across office-based businesses.
I do not wish to protest to by breaking the rules. But I do want to try and overturn HR's decision to introduce the ban for everyone. Since this is impacting my mood and effectiveness at work.
I would like to challenge the headphone policy in a formal manner. How should I go about it?