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After following this thread for a few days, I have to wonder if I'm alone in
NOT preferring to work in silence.
I grew up in a home that always had music playing - I think it was to (a)
drown out the noise of eight children during the day and (b) to cover the
creaks and groans of an old house settling during the night. For much of
the sixteen years I've been a TW, I've worked in low- to high-chaos
environments (working from home at random intervals over the years with four
children who are now teenagers, being the peak of the high-chaos). I've
simply learned to tune out irrelevant background noise. But I am both
accustomed to the background noise being there, and in many company
environments, have found the "buzz" to be an important factor in keeping up
with the pulse of the company.
Right now, I share an office with another TW. We're just off the support
pool, but have a door that we close occasionally when it gets too loud out
there. I tune into NPR (on headphones) when it gets too quiet. I'm somewhat
concerned, because we're about to move to another part of the company (a
cube farm) that has been lovingly dubbed "the monastery" because of the
near-total silence of the programmers working in that area. (In fact, when
they learned that we would be moving into their area, one of the programmers
asked if we could be quiet!) I'm already not sure how long I'll be able to
resist the urge to turn on Baroque music or Gregorian Chants just to break