Open office and local languages

Shape Security / Eng yCiH57
May 8 8 Comments


I easily get distracted by noise. Specially when people discuss and laugh. The problem I face all the time is....

In my office we are 14 guys sitting in close neighborhood, its an open office. Out of these 12 are Chinese and they love to chat all the time in Mandarin which I don't understand. Even the morning greetings are in Mandarin. Their phone calls are in mandarin, their stand-ups are in Mandarin. Even when most of us work on the same thing I never understand a single issue they ever faced. Basically for me the only advantage of open office culture is not there.

I tried asking my manager(he is also chinese) Hr and even my manager's manager(he is also chinese) multiple times. But nothing happened. I am so frustrated 😠.

I tried leaving the company but got struck with Visa issues and had to decline a super amazing offer. Pretty much every day I have headache in evening. My productivity is hardly 40-50% of what I can easily achieve.

I tried all sort of earmuffs and headphones but nothing worked out for me as I can't listen to music for 7-8 hours. But they can talk that long....


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TOP 8 Comments
  • TuneIn iiipo
    Since you can't quit, maybe learn a little bit of Chinese? Free eavesdropping into their conversation without suspicion.
    May 8 2
    • Yandex / Eng Xmto72
      Well, if life gives you lemons, make a Chinese soup!
      May 8
    • TuneIn iiipo
      Chinese soup > lemonade
      May 8
  • New wrqR15
    Also, request a couple days a week remote work. It’s the best for actually getting things done.
    May 8 0
  • Microsoft / Product

    Microsoft Product

    Bain & Company
    There's more than 1 issue here:
    1) is YOUR stand up in Mandarin? If yes, that is concerning. If not, why do you care for other team's stand ups?
    2) noise. This is related to open office and nothing to the language being spoken. It is actually better if it's a foreign language since that distracts you less.
    3) culture. I think that's your main issue, you feel excluded. That's worth talking to your manager about can the team be more inclusive.
    May 8 0
  • Comcast ichiban
    Pixel buds for realtime translation
    May 8 0
  • Shape Security / Eng yCiH57
    I do not care about their stand-ups. The problem is they don't go to any room. They do their stand up at their places.

    Noise is the issue but as long as I can understand and learn something out of it its ok.

    I totally agree with 3rd point.
    May 8 0
  • Intel babubhatt
    Try listening to a white noise app
    May 8 0