An open-plan workspace is a great way to foster collaboration between employees in your organization. They create an open culture in your organization– perfect for the modern workforce. However, an open-plan workspace also comes with some drawbacks. One of these is the noisy atmosphere it can create. With an open workspace, conversations can be heard from across the building and become distractions for other employees.
With an open workspace, conversations can be heard from across the building and become distractions for other employees. 49% of workers report not being able to concentrate well at work. This leads to the average person losing 86 minutes per day due to distractions. This lost time and lack of concentration lead to a major decrease in productivity. But there is a solution to traveling sounds that won’t compromise the openness of your office space.
Enter sound masking.
What is Sound Masking?
So, what is sound masking? Sound masking is a specifically tuned ambient background sound that targets the same frequency as human speech, reducing its intelligibility. It reduces the radius of distraction conversation creates by not allowing sound to travel as far.
Sound masking doesn’t only cover sounds up with even more distracting white noise, though. It uses ambient sound that can fade into the background. Sound masking can provide 5 very key benefits to your organization.
5 Benefits of Sound Masking
1. Increases Privacy
Another drawback of an open office is that you often sacrifice privacy when you open it up. It is very useful for employees to be close to one another for collaboration sake. However, it is often hard for employees to get any sort of privacy during conversations. Due to this, almost 60% of employees say a lack of speech privacy is a driver in their dissatisfaction at work. Sound masking can help with this too. It limits the sounds of conversation from traveling around the office. So, it provides employees with more privacy and allows fewer people to hear what they are saying.
2. Reduces Distractions
One survey revealed that about 80% of employees said chatty coworkers and office noise are the top distractors they face in the workplace. With sound masking, employees no longer have to be the primary source of distraction for each other. But, you don’t have to compromise people’s ability to talk and collaborate as needed.
3. Reduces Noise
While it may seem counterintuitive to add noise to make your office quieter, the noise added with sound masking isn’t distracting white noise. It adds ambient noise to your office that matches the frequencies of human speech and often fades into the background. Sound masking will sound like airflow, meaning you’ll barely even notice the sound. But, it still reduces how far distracting sounds can travel. This keeps the office generally quieter and free of distractions.
4. Increases Office Comfort
Finding the balance between awkward quietness and distracting loudness in your office is tough. Without any sound, it can become awkward and uncomfortable. It may even end up discouraging collaboration as people fear to break the silence. On the flip side, too much noise creates an uncomfortably loud environment and makes it harder to work and focus. Sound masking creates the perfect balance of noise and quiet that will make employees feel comfortable and happy in the office. Best of all, comfortable and happy employees are productive employees.
5. Increases Office Productivity
By far the best benefit of sound masking is that it will help your office be more productive. Employees spend so much time during their day being distracted by the noise in the office. It can also take as long as 23 minutes for the mind to return to the task at hand after a distraction. Luckily, studies show when there is a reduction in distractions, 75% of employees are more productive, 57% have increased motivation, and 49% are happier at work. Think of how much time employees will get back once they have fewer distractions and how productive they can be in that lost time!
Thanks to sound masking, employees can get back the productivity, privacy, and focus they may be lacking. Interested in seeing the positive impact sound masking could have on your office? You can read more about our experience with sound masking in our own office. Or, find more information on how Level365 can help you implement sound masking in your own office.
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