Imagine what it's like to be forced to endure the typical office environment when you have misophonia (selective sound sensitivity syndrome). It’s a neurological disorder whose prevalence is unknown and for which there is no known cure. However, it’s regarded as more common than previously thought.
To an extent I know what it's like as the high-pitched sounds of certain yappy little dog breeds never fail to drive me into a hulk-like rage. However, the sounds of the usual light-hearted social chatter that happens throughout the day in an office setting (pleasant though the subject matter often is) are not just wearying to me as an introvert. At the end of each day, I notice an indescribable internal pain which is relieved only by silence.
I find that long-term use of ear plugs or having to blast sounds one prefers to hear in order to block out other sounds isn’t the way to go for health-related reasons. Those who follow my blog know what I’m about to say. This is yet another reason to grant workers more control over their working environments. If providing isolated offices isn’t a viable alternative due to the price tag associated with space then a remote work arrangement may be the answer.
Read “A typical day with misophonia” to discover how different someone else’s experience of typical work environments can be. This post by Emlyn Altman also provides an excellent description of what it's like to have misophonia and endure the sounds in the typical workplace.