Quiet offices aren’t really distracting because they’re too quiet; rather, they prove troublesome when noise eventually occurs and breaks the silence. Sound masking can ‘remove’ that silence.
We do not all know what the work environment will look like as a new normal sets in from COVID-19. With many large and small companies re-opening to welcome employees back, while adhering to social distancing guidelines, offices may be quieter than ever. Densely packed offices have been redesigned to allow for fewer occupants in the same space. With less people in every office, even the smallest noise can become a point of great annoyance and fixation –– like the clicking of a neighbor’s pen or the tapping of their foot. And if you’ve ever attended or hosted a virtual meeting, then you know how unsettling it can be for those around you. In fact, certain open office designs make people so uncomfortable that they avoid collaborating with each other.
Sound masking works to eliminate as many distracting noises as possible by introducing sound into the space to ‘feel’ busier. It’s like taking an employee from the library and putting them at the coffee shop. There is a hustle and a bustle feel, but it isn’t distracting and allows the employee to be productive.
By controlling the acoustics of a space, you control both productivity and comfort. Where would you rather have them work – at the coffee shop or your office? With an improved acoustical environment, as we return to the workplace, you can provide a place to speak without having conversations understood by others (speech privacy) and can better concentrate without distraction (greater productivity) therefore improving the overall comfort of the space.