Dealing with unwanted noise at home

man dealing with unwanted noise by putting fingers in his earsUnwanted noise is a big problem if you’re going to work from home.  I don’t necessarily want people talking to me on the phone to know that I’m working from home. I’ve got two indoor dogs and a young daughter. There’s nothing like being on the phone and having a dog start barking to let the other person on the phone know that you’re not in the office.  If you’re going to work from home, then you’re likely going to have to figure out how to deal with unwanted noise.

There’s still a bit of a stigma about people working from home. Often when people realise that I’m working from home, they think that I’ve gone home from work that day to watch Oprah on daytime TV. Even if the person on the other end of the phone isn’t judging me – I still need to be able to hear what they’re saying.

There are a couple of things that I’ve done already to try to help deal with the unwanted noise and there are a couple more things that I’m still going to try.

These are the things that I’ve done so far that have worked pretty well at getting rid of unwanted noise:

  • Noise cancelling headset – this has probably made the biggest difference so far. I think I’ve bought and tried about 20 different headsets and headphones. I’ll look to review some of them here.
  • Putting the dogs in a different room.  Seems kind of obvious, but you don’t always think about that until the phone rings. I’ve found that if I don’t do it before the phone rings then I might as well not bother. Trying to get dogs into another room quickly just makes them louder and louder.
  • Noise treatment under the doors. This was a quick 20-minute fix. It seems to have made a bit of a difference, but I’m not sure how much. Hopefully I’ll be able to do a review with some sort of a test in the future.
  • Putting my computer desk as far away from the TV and everything else as possible. When I’m at home I’ll often just work in front of the TV with my computer on my lap, but when I’m trying for quiet.  The computer desk is now in a good place.
  • Really high quality ear plugs – Review to follow shortly

These are the things that I still want to try to deal with unwanted noise:

  • Replacing the hollow doors with more solid doors
  • Putting a proper noise proof frame around one of the doors
  • Putting up some sort of a homemade noise shield in front of where I want to work

We’ll have to see how many of these things I managed to test. If you’ve got any ideas that have really worked for you to deal with the noise then please let me know in the comments below.