Yesterday it hit me hard. I 'just' had to fix up the logging of an application (which enables it to reconstruct its exact state after a crash). Unfortunately, it wasn't my application in the first place; I just had to 'fix' it. And all kinds of annoyances came together...
It was a shared office, meaning occasional meetings and all kinds of small discussions happening right behind my back. Pretty much impossible to build up any concentration in these phases, not even for reading blogs!
Then I had my laptop at 1024x768 and the local PC with 1600x1200 on its glass monitor. Problem: Apart from some silence I needed the big screen estate for actually getting all relevant code in eyesight. But unfortunately looking at that monitor only made me wonder what was wrong with my eyes; I couldn't actually focus on reading. In the old office it was just working for me, in this new one it didn't any more.
So I was getting desperate: To be able to actually getting anything done I needed to head back home to the fullsize LCD screen. The alternative would be to start massive notetaking, which is a form of thrashing and would just kill productivity as well.
I never experienced either workspace disturbances nor bad equipment that hard before, and now I am considering to buy another LCD for that workplace. Probably some silencer, too?