With increasing cross-functional work, more and more companies are adapting an open office workplace. Open-offices can boost creativity, colleagueship and collaboration – the open and (often) loft-style designed work area invites colleagues to interact and bond with each more easily regardless of their job title.

While an open office culture facilitates open and collegial communication, it can also create a noisy and distracting working environment. Let’s face it, it can be quite irritating when one is working on something that requires full focus and ideally a calm and quite working surrounding.

So, while we can all agree on the positive outcomes of open office space culture, how can we deal with the unwanted noise and how can one get into the focus zone when needed?

One way to balance such dilemma is to draft a so-called survival strategy. Start off with aligning team expectations. Approach your manager, raise your ideas for finding all-agreed norms that each of the team members can operate within. Then, use your next team meeting to get everyone on board. Another strategic move could be to leave your desk and find a discrete space for temporary use – this can allow you to think, write, and brainstorm free of distractions. Finally, consider the option of investing in noise-cancelling headphones. Wearing headphones (and listening to music) does not only serve as a visual hint to your colleagues but can get you into the concentration mode quickly.

We are the sports practice of global advisory firm Burson Cohn & Wolfe. We provide strategy and communication advice for sports clients around the world. For more information: www.bcw-sport.com