Soundmasking the Office….Stop Being Annoying!

Soundmasking the Office….Stop Being Annoying!

by digitavia on March 31, 2017

With the change of the office environment to one which is a canvas of open work spaces, one can easily figure out why some of the top irritating things in an office have to do with Noise and Sound. A recent list of the “most annoying things about working in an office” in BuzzFeed has Talking Loudly, Noisy Typing, Noisy Eaters, People who make Unnecessary Noise in their Top 15…. And they all have to do with Sound!

The right Soundmasking system can address all the above by adding the white noise at just the right level and making life happier for all. Some systems can even adjust the amount of masking used as people enter (or leave) the workplace…lets you ease into your day for the early risers.

If you look at a standard office set up, you have a few private offices, a conference room or two, a lobby and open offices. The private offices are meant to be private. However, with the construction of walls which stop just above the drop tile ceiling and the use of speakerphones, the private conversations in these offices float into the hallway or into your cubicle. Soundmasking in the hallways helps “mask” what is being said outside of the private space.

In conference rooms, the same factors occur. In critical team negotiations or client presentations, sensitive information could travel into the open office. Attorneys and medical personnel are very aware of protecting client or patient information from the general public. To this end, some soundmasking systems are especially designed to alert those in the conference room and those outside of the room that soundmasking has been activated for their meeting… giving everyone involved peace-of-mind pertaining to their confidential conversations.

Lobbies are where your firm greets the general public. From prospective clients, employees or the “UPS Guy”, everyone is welcomed into your offices. Soundmasking is critical in this space. Actually, last week I became really aware of the lack of soundmasking in my customer’s lobby. I was there to talk to the CEO about an interactive touchscreen for his conference room. Since I was a few minutes early, I sat and waited for the CEO in the lobby. The training room was near the lobby and there was a sales meeting occurring with their sales manager going over figures from 2016 and “encouraging” his team to do better in 2017. Because of the lack of soundmasking in the lobby, I had a front row seat to this encouragement with all the details! Even the receptionist remarked that because of her location near this conference room, “She knows Everything!”

The open office areas and huddle spaces run the greatest risk of letting annoying office habits distract and derail every employee from being effective at their job. If you have ever walked into a non-masked cubicle area, the many conversations, keyboard noise, cell phone ring tones, over-the-cubicle wall audio volleys, copier or printer sounds all combine to a high level of distraction. But, some noise is fine… It is when people start talking that the brain tries to capture what is being said (and about whom). It’s human nature to listen and even remotely want to be part of the conversation. Soundmasking adds the right mix of noise and volume. You can tell others are making noise but you can’t distinguish what is being said, so you are not “hooked” in wanting to be a participant of the conversation. The mind is a terrible thing to let wander if you have a task you’d like to complete…

So, with all the audio landmines located in your office spaces, soundmasking can easily be your best defense. Besides…who wants to work in an annoying office!

Allen Lamb

Strategic Account Manager Global AV Partnership 

Contact us today to learn how we can help your organization keep private conversations private and mask the sound.

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