More and more research is being done on the relationship between workplace acoustic quality and performance.
Not only do poor acoustics contribute to increased levels of stress, they also reduce productivity. Traditionally, many offices simply sought to remove excess noise with soundproofing. However, that in itself doesn’t make an office more comfortable. Instead, office-based noises, such as typing, phone calls and conversations simply become more noticeable.
It’s not practical to remove all distracting noises in open-plan offices. The aim should be to make them less audible. That’s where soundscapes and sound masking come in as effective solutions.
How do soundscapes contribute to inclusivity and wellbeing?
Soundscapes can be defined as a sound or group of sounds taken from a natural landscape, such as a woodland. They provide an immersive, calming environment. When combined with sound masking, they create optimal acoustic comfort. Ambient sound that matches the frequency of human speech makes distracting noises less intelligible. This also restores speech privacy in your offices.
How can soundscapes and sound masking make a work environment more inclusive?
By creating work zones in the office, employees can choose a workspace that suits their mood and working preferences. Ensuring that everyone has the right environment to get the job done to the best of their ability while feeling psychologically comfortable is crucial. This acoustic technology can help businesses boost productivity and create a more inclusive workforce.
Cater to both introverts & extroverts
Introverts can prefer a quieter, relaxed environment. Extroverts can feel more motivated in sociable environments with a stimulating buzz. There are also some tasks that require a different mindset. Some tasks will be more detail-oriented, whereas others will be more conversational and collaboration-based.
Adapt to an increasingly ageing workforce
Not everyone has a normal level of hearing. In fact, with an increasingly ageing population, hearing impairments are becoming more common. In the UK, more than 40% of people over 50 have hearing loss.
With the cost of living crisis, more retirees are also reentering the job market.
With the number of people over 65 in work or looking for work hitting its highest level on record in 2022, many workplaces could benefit from making their environments more inclusive for older workers.
It’s beneficial for neurodivergent employees too. Believed to make up 15% of the population, there’s a high chance that you already have some neurodivergent employees. Many neurodivergent people are particularly sensitive to noise.
By providing an environment that works for them, they will spend less time and energy feeling uncomfortable and frustrated and more time completing projects to the best of their ability.
Plus, neurodivergent people are known to bring fresh perspectives and skills to the workplace, which will contribute to more diversity and inclusion and help propel your business forward.
Workspaces that are less distracting and more accommodating contribute significantly to inclusivity and wellbeing. If you’re interested in making your workplace more inclusive and productive, contact the Soundcape experts at Remark Group today.