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Cutting workplace chatter can be tricky

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Telling a chatty co-worker to quiet down is a fine line to walk because you don't want to be a grouch, but you also want to do a good job at work. (Source: CNN) Telling a chatty co-worker to quiet down is a fine line to walk because you don't want to be a grouch, but you also want to do a good job at work. (Source: CNN)

(CNN) - Chatty colleagues can make getting work done extremely difficult, but telling co-workers to put a cork in it can be awkward.

It is a fine line to walk because you don't want to be a grouch, but you also want to do a good job at work.

The reason for this problem in some workplaces is open concept offices. Recent studies show the lack of privacy in an open environment is linked to mental workload, poor performance, stress and fatigue.

So what do you do if your office has an open layout, and there are days when the increased noise level keeps you from getting your work done?

Experts say the easiest solution is to politely speak up and make it clear when you walk in the door that you have something you need to accomplish.

You can also put a "do not disturb" message on your email and instant message programs to get the word out there that you're busy or on deadline.

If your office has them, you can pop into a quiet room for a bit.

There's always the option to put on some headphones to block out the noise and stay focused.

But make sure you balance productivity and personal interaction in the office. Being too anti-social in the office can also be bad, as that interaction helps build teamwork and morale and shows you are part of the group.

According to etiquette experts, you can always turn to humor to ease things when it comes to telling your co-workers to be quiet.

Copyright 2014 CNN. All rights reserved.

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