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Sound Masking in Open-plan Offices: How Does It Work?

Resource Centre Sound Masking Sound Masking in Open-plan Offices: How Does It Work?
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Sound masking is predominantly used to restore speech privacy in partitioned meeting rooms. However, it can also offer plenty of acoustic enhancements for open-plan environments. In this guide, we’re explaining how Sound Masking works in open-plan offices to help you decide whether it could be the right acoustic treatment for your business.

With 61% of UK office workers reporting that they are interrupted by noise at least five to 10 times a day, this suggests that productivity can be impacted by poor acoustics. But how does Sound Masking help reduce noise distractions in a more open environment?

How does it work?

Sound Masking systems produce an ambient sound that can be distributed across your office. It raises the level of background sound without being distracting and operates at the same frequency as human speech. By reducing the radius of sound from 15m to up to 6m, your employees will be able to focus on the task at hand more easily.

It doesn’t block sound altogether in an open-plan office. However, it muffles conversations from further away and makes them less intelligible.

The systems can be installed into zones which can provide even coverage across the room. Or, you can individually adjust the frequency levels for each zone depending on whether the office is busy or quiet. This is particularly useful if you have teams processing confidential information.

How to get the balance right

In this video, environmental psychologist, Dr Nigel Oseland, discusses what we can do to improve the noise issues we have in open-plan offices.

“Open-plan offices, when designed well, are great for collaboration, for communication and for team work. But we have to remember that people also need to focus and concentrate. And, that’s why acoustics are of paramount importance. We quite often find that acoustics are not even considered in the design of offices. And, sometimes, even when they’re considered, they get cost-cutting at a later date.

“So, from my perspective, and certainly from research conducted by the Remark Group and that of other people, we must remember that acoustics is important. We need to design with our eyes and with our ears.”

Want to find out more?

Importantly, Sound Masking in an open-plan office enhances the acoustic environment for your employees to boost productivity and wellbeing. It’s ideal for call centres and open-plan corporate offices.

Book a demonstration of Sound Masking for offices with Remark Group today.