You are in the cubicle farm and you have that co-worker that is just a little too loud for you to concentrate. How do you avoid the awkward conversation of

"hey you are too loud I can't work?"

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    related (but not so much interpersonal): workplace.stackexchange.com/questions/4206/… Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 18:35
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    Could you define "just a little too loud for you to concentrate" better? Too loud objectively? I ask because some people can tune out the world, while others hear everything and process it in parallel. I'm just looking for an objective definition since you are working in a group setting.
    – user3169
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 18:41
  • Yes, what defines 'too loud' is subjective. But the board is interpersonal communication skills. So it doesn't matter if they are loud or not to everyone, just that you need to confront that person and how best to do it?
    – user3314
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 18:59
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    Specific situation? Where is this co-worker in relation to you? What about your cultural background? Could you include this information to create a specific, and high-quality question? As your question stands right now, it is too broad.
    – Zizouz212
    Commented Aug 17, 2017 at 19:20

2 Answers 2


Never go straight to your boss, would be my advice. If any, always directly ask the co-worker.

My advice is to speak to him during coffeebreak. Do it when your co-worker is in a good mood. Never say about it being your problem. Say something like:

Hi, could you lower your volume a bit while working? Seems our boss did not spend that much on the acoustic environment. (Ha-ha.)

You have a bit of humor, you don't point the problem at him and you've made your point towards your co-worker.

PS: Do not take my advice if your co-worker IS your boss.


I would ask him to tone it down:

"Could you tone it down just a bit? That will make it easier for me to concentrate. Thanks."

That's a nice way to ask him to be courteous.

If necessary, I would follow with another question:

"You don't want me to hear all your secrets, do you?"

Now you're appealing to his self-interest.