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Most employers forbid their employees to wear earbuds during work hours, whether to make a call, listen to music, or listen to an audiobook. I have compiled a list of ways you can hide wearing earbuds at work so that you can listen to your favorite playlist without the HR noticing.
Some ways you can hide wearing earbuds at work include opting for small Bluetooth earbuds, covering the earbuds, using invisible earbuds, and not acting like you are listening to audio.
I will explain different ways to hide wearing earbuds at work and things to do to avoid standing out when listening to your playlist discreetly. I hope you find some valuable tips that will help you hide wearing earbuds.
Why Do Employees Hide Wearing Earbuds at Work?
Many employers prohibit wired or wireless earbuds at work for one reason or another. Most companies claim that music can keep employees distracted and affect company productivity.
Employees may want to hide their earbuds to work because music helps them get through the day and manage their stress or anxiety levels. Therefore, many employees are always looking for ways to wear earbuds without getting caught by supervisors or HR.
This Is How to Hide Wearing Earbuds at Work
You need to choose the methods that suit your workplace and outfit to hide your earbuds at work from the options below. Some options will only apply during cold weather, while others are perfect for all occasions.
1. Use Bluetooth Earbuds
The first step to hiding earbuds at work is to invest in a pair of Bluetooth earbuds. You can connect Bluetooth earbuds to a phone, Bluetooth speaker, or laptop. Therefore, you will have choices for your music storage.
Moreover, using Bluetooth earbuds eliminates the need to try and hide wires connecting from your device to the earbuds. Also, you will be able to move freely wearing Bluetooth earbuds and even perform manual work with ease.
2. Use Your Hair
Individuals with long hair can cover up earbuds by styling their hair to fall over the ears. Using your hair to cover earbuds is an excellent choice because no one will touch it to see your ears. Also, it is hard for people to suspect you because you will appear normal to everyone around you.
You can opt to choose official hairstyles that cover your ears naturally, so you look good and still listen to music secretly. You can opt to grow out your hair a little bit if you are rocking short hair currently.
3. Wear a Wig
Wear a wig to work to hide your earbuds if you have short hair and love fashion. Wigs are an acceptable fashion statement at work today. No one will question the specific change when you show up in a tasteful wig.
Ensure your wig covers your ears so that no one suspects that you are listening to music during work hours. Also, choose a wig that compliments your outfit to not seem out of place.
4. Use a Scarf
Scarves are acceptable to work on casual days and winters. You can use a scarf to hide your earbuds if you can wear one. Moreover, you can complement your outfits with scarves that make your businesses look better for work.
5. Wear a Hat or Beanie
A hat or beanie is an excellent choice for working outdoors under the sun or in cold temperatures. Pull the hat or beanie down until it covers your ears and no one can notice your earbuds. I wouldn’t recommend wearing a hat or beanie indoors if your workplace expects official wear.
Be careful when using a hat or beanie because people will get suspicious of hiding something. Therefore, ensure the work environment is suitable for wearing a hat or beanie before using any of them to hide your earbuds.
6. Wear Earmuffs
During the cold season, you can wear earmuffs to hide earbuds beneath at work. Tell anyone who asks that you have sensitive ears and you have to keep them warm. Otherwise, no one will think it’s weird that you have earmuffs on when it’s cold outside.
7. Use a Headband
Headbands are an excellent way to cover up earbuds in sporting events or workplaces that allow casual wear. You can wear a headband as a fashion statement for your favorite sports team or institution. Also, ensure that you cover your earbuds well.
8. Use Invisible Earbuds
Invisible earbuds are small and hard to notice from a distance. Moreover, you can get them in a color that matches your skin tone. They are ideal for people with short hair who can’t use accessories to hide wearing earbuds at work.
You can find invisible Bluetooth earbuds with various colors at online stores. Choose a small size that will be barely noticeable unless someone is standing next to you. Overall, there are many affordable brands of invisible earbuds available online.
How to Act When Hiding Earbuds at Work
It would be a shame to hide your earbuds so well at work only to be caught because you are bobbing to the beat of the music. You need to try and act normal when you are at work so that no one clues in that you are listening to music.
1. Sit Still
It can be tempting to move your head around, shuffle your feet, swing the seat, or drum your desk when wearing earbuds at work. Don’t move around when you wear earbuds at work, as it will be a giveaway sign. Sit still and act as you usually do when focused on work.
Moreover, don’t hum the songs you listen to even at a low volume. You are supposed to be working without listening to music. Overall, avoid activities that seem out of place at work when hiding wearing earphones.
2. Low Volume
You need to set the volume at around 50% or less so that no one else hears music coming from your ears. Please don’t assume that no one will listen to music playing when they pass by your cubicle. Employees with excellent hearing can tell when you are secretly wearing earbuds.
Also, listening to low volumes can allow you to hear when someone is approaching your desk or wants to make an announcement.
3. Be Aware of Your Surroundings
Lift your head once every 10-15 minutes and take stock of your surroundings when wearing earbuds at work. Try to stay aware of the people around you or any commotion that may draw other employees’ attention.
Also, pause your music when walking around or going to the washrooms. Someone may try to catch your attention when passing by their desk. You don’t want to explain why you didn’t hear someone call out your name.
4. Turn Off Notification Alerts
Put your phone on silent mode should you choose to use Bluetooth earbuds. Notification alerts can give you away because they are loud, especially when your phone notifies you that your battery is 10%.
Another reason to turn off notification alerts is that they are louder than your listening volume. Some of your colleagues may wonder why notification alerts come from your ears when your phone is on the desk.
5. Select Calming Music
Select a playlist that won’t get excited when you hide that you are wearing earbuds at work. Therefore, avoid loud music, party anthems, or any music that makes you want to start dancing or singing along. Choosing calming music doesn’t mean you opt for music that you don’t enjoy or stuff you find boring.
Overall, don’t choose tunes that carry you away or will make you forget that you are at your workplace. You can find a work playlist online that will keep you focused without distracting you.
6. Stay Focused
Keep your focus on work and do your workload. Your boss or HR may begin to wonder what is going on if you aren’t meeting your daily work targets. Therefore, keep on working when you are wearing earbuds secretly at work.
7. Don’t Wear Earbuds at Meetings
Although it seems apparent that you shouldn’t wear earbuds at a meeting when they are forbidden at work, it is worth stating it. Meetings tend to be boring, and I understand the temptation to sneak your earbuds to work and wear them discreetly. However, it is hard to get caught off guard in meetings than in other work activities.
8. Don’t Tell Your Co-Workers
I strongly advise you not to tell your co-workers that you hide wearing earbuds at work to listen to music discreetly. You never know when your co-worker will see that information as a weapon to get you in trouble at work. Therefore, keep your story of how you hide wearing earbuds at work to yourself.
Although earbuds are prohibited while working by many companies, there are effective ways to hide wearing earbuds at work. I hope the tips and tricks above will help you sneak your earbuds into work and listen to music throughout your shift without getting noticed.
Try to choose accessories in neutral colors to keep a low profile when listening to earbuds to work. I wish you the best of luck as you try out new ways to hide your earbuds during working hours.
Espen is the Director of ProPairing and has written extensively about Bluetooth devices for years. He is a consumer product expert and has personally tested Bluetooth devices for the last decade.