For many, it’s been a year since they last set foot in an office. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, it is sometimes hard to remember the days once defined by a daily commute. Although the timeline is still unclear, offices will inevitably re-open in the future.
Although most of the workforce is still remote, research shows that about half of all workers will actively want to go back to the office. Most organizations therefore won’t ditch their office space altogether and will instead re-think their real estate investments to eliminate under-utilized space, and work on better designs to make sure that the remaining square footage is used efficiently.
One of the most significant realizations to emerge from the pandemic is the importance of acoustics. With many working or attending virtual meetings from home, often in the same rooms as other family members or barking dogs, the lack of acoustic privacy is clear. The problem is unlikely to disappear when employees return to the “new workplace.” Even after the vaccine is widely distributed, video conferencing will most likely remain because of its convenience and familiarity. Workplaces will be transformed into collaborative, shared spaces with face-to face and remote communication. Video calls are more likely to be lengthy group meetings with extended periods of focused attention and less room for distraction. Some of these meetings may occur in conference rooms, but more likely will take place in noisy, collaborative environments, leading to increased noise distractions and an overall decline in productivity.
To convince employees to use their new workspaces, companies will provide offices that go above and beyond working from home, utilizing technology that adjusts the office environment to aid employee productivity and well being. Sound masking remains an easily installed, cost-effective solution that can help employers maximize the employee experience, drive productivity and attract workers back into offices by creating a more comfortable, private, and productive environment.
And with so many relatively empty offices because of the work-from-home mandates that are so common in today’s environment, now is the perfect time to consider installing a sound masking system in your office.