The modern day office environment has evolved dramatically from the days of individual work spaces, sizeable meeting rooms and closed plan working. Instead, offices are now fully open plan to encourage maximum use of space and a shared working environment; but with this come inevitable problems, particularly noise levels.
If you are able to hear someone talking whilst you’re reading or writing, your productivity dips by up to 66% and with over 70% of offices now open plan, employee productivity often declines. It’s also been reported that conversations can be heard up to 50 feet away, with 53% of employees having overheard confidential conversations within the office. It is this lack of privacy that can become a primary driver of worker dissatisfaction in the open plan office environment.
Employees waste 21 minutes per day due to conversational distraction with the figure up to 86 minutes for general office noise distractions.
The loss of productivity, coupled with confidentiality concerns has led business owners and employers to seek out a permanent solution to the problem of office audiology.
Business technology providers have recognised the growing problem within modern offices by developing sound masking systems which help increase employee productivity by directly addressing the noise issues created by open plan working environments.
Businesses that have installed sound masking have recorded a 20% increase in productivity through the reduction of noise distraction and increase in speech privacy. This has also positively impacted the short-term memory of employees working in masking environments, with the ability to recall 7.8% of words and 8.7% of numbers.
Sound masking systems have been developed to avoid disrupting day-to-day office interaction. A series of emitters are concealed in the office ceiling, delivering an engineered sound which is often compared to gentle air, creating an invisible sound curtain which raises the overall level of background noise. This method drowns out chatter and makes local speech unintelligible and when deployed.
With the ability to make the workplace more comfortable and secure for employees, sound masking systems are proving to be increasingly popular, especially with those businesses operating in modern open plan office environments
If you would like to find out more about sound masking and what it can do for your work enviroment, drop us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01733 405 965
Sources of information
“Employee Engagement and the Global Workplace” survey, completed by steelcase.com and Ipsos