Not every office includes opportunities for networking. If you work in a co-working location (or like to work from someplace like the local coffee shop), you probably oughtn't be trying to network. If you work for a large organization where they tend to assign seats on a simple "as available" basis, the people around you may be no more relevant to your work than randos at a coffee shop.
If hearing loss is a concern, one can simply don hearing-protection earmuffs or even just good ear-plugs (Eargasms are great for both concerts and noisy offices).
...And, if you worked where I work, pretty sure you'd not have written this article. Some work-spaces simply aren't manageable without something to deaden, mask or drown-out the noise. On the plus side, the usual source of noise appears to be on PTO, today.
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