It’s about 10:45am on Monday… and it begins. “What’s for lunch…? Did that email really go to spam? What’s the dial-in for the 11 o’clock call? Why is it so hot on this side of the office and so cold by Reception”
Just another day at the office… and all these comments OVER the slurping coffee drinker, the phlegmy sneezer and clashing Pandora’s because really who can agree on anything besides Christmas music.
Distractions, distractions, and yes – more distractions!
Who thought an open office floorplan with cement floors was a good idea in the first place? I guess from a collaborative viewpoint – bringing down walls to make people talk to promote teamwork and nurture innovation – yeah maybe. But is it really paying off?
Many recent studies show that all of these daily distractions lead to lack of focus + unhappy workers = lack of productivity!
Per the Journal of Environmental Psychology – "benefits of enhanced interaction didn't offset disadvantages in open-plan offices." Another by the Asia-Pacific Journal of Health Management – suggests this type of floor plan produces an increase in noise, conflict, stress, and turnover. Additionally, a 2008 Basex study estimated that distractions cost businesses $587 billion.
Unwanted noise is a problem that corporate America is dealing with every day. It may dramatically effect productivity having an oversized effect on today’s Information Workers; earbuds in or not. Noise interruptions heard during deep thinking and complex work means that the workers will be out of sync for longer periods of time. Studies have shown that work places with multiple or regular interruptions are most likely to have long-term negative effects on performance, productivity and mood with an overall effect on the entire team.
Ok – so there we go… Now what do we do? The answer may be found in the way we design the modern work space taking into account of Sound Management. Aka Noise Control.
Our AV / IT communities impact is limited to the one which is most successful; sound masking. Sound masking experts are usually brought into the process after certain design elements are set in stone. While the design community recommends several strategies for speech privacy, CAPTUS focuses our expertise on the technology used for non-intrusive speech privacy known as Sound Masking.
As per the Cambridge Sound Management website: “Sound masking is the process of adding background sound to reduce noise distractions, protect speech privacy and increase office comfort.”
“Sound masking is specifically engineered to match the frequencies of human speech and to sound comfortable, even pleasant, to the human ear. When implemented properly, sound masking should just fade into the background “hum” of a workplace while simultaneously making (ambient) speech more difficult to hear and understand.”
Sound Masking is a cost-effective way to provide an increased level of worker focus, reduce distractions, reduce stress & overall provide an increase in productivity. Sound Masking has been around for over 40 years, and is already widely used in Fortune 500 companies, smaller businesses, healthcare & government institutions – modern sound masking systems are in increased demand due to this open floorplan craze. Ironically, adding sound to a space does make the space seem quieter. It’s true – believe me.
In conclusion, while being in the loop on EVERYTHING that happens in an office certainly may fulfill your curiosity, there’s work to be done.
Please contact Captus Systems System today for a free quote on a Sound Masking solution.