They were supposed to end the pain of working in a cubicle, and provide more efficient use of space, but open offices and unassigned work spaces created some pain of their own.

The New York Times has some tips on how to make life easier for the denizens of the open floor plan.

Tips are as simple as maintaining some personal effects even at an unassigned location, keeping things green and – we like this – keeping a set of noise cancellation headphones available.

That will provide music, which is also recommended as a tool to help concentration, and a safe harbor from the loud co-worker around the corner.