An article I thought was fairly balanced article about the pros and cons of wearing headphones at work and what it means to be “together alone” in environments where we are physically proximate and yet focused on completely different things.
On the one side, for those of us who work in an open concept area, it can be very difficult to get enough quiet to concentrate on writing or reviewing important documents while trying to block out conversations. Headphones can also send a message that you are trying to focus on something.
On the other side, and well fleshed out in this piece, blocking out the ambient conversations means the risk of missing important opportunities to make connections, build relationships, understand how decisions are made etc.
Finally, there were quite a lot of comments on the article making a point with which I agree. There is a bit of confusion in the article over the use of social networking sites with listening to music/using headphones. I’d concede that these are two issues that should be treated differently.