What Is Noise In The Workplace?

Resource Centre Sound Masking What Is Noise In The Workplace?
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Remark spoke with psychologist Dr. Nigel Oseland, to discuss what noise is in the workplace. Watch the full video or read the transcript below.

“What is noise? Well, noise is basically unwanted sound. So, it’s us, people, that determines whether a sound is a noise or not. Out there in the real world, you basically have air pressure waves. When these air pressure waves hit the eardrum, we convert them into a sound and that’s called perception. Then, something even more interesting happens. Cognition kicks in, and that’s when we interpret that sound. And, depending on circumstances, depending on our opinions, our attitudes, our physiology, our psychology, we then determine whether we believe that sound to be a noise or not.”

Common office noises

Noisy work environments are not just warehouses or factories operating high-power machinery. Office environments are also home to plenty of noises. They might not be as loud or pose a risk to health and safety, but they can be distracting.

In our Noise and Wellbeing survey, we identified the common noises in the office that employees found most distracting.

Telephone and personal conversations were the most distracting, closely followed by sudden laughter. Other common noises included doors slamming, music, coughing and sniffing.

These noises were identified as having a negative impact on productivity levels and wellbeing. But the good news is that common office noises are easy to treat.

How to treat distracting office noises?

Sound masking is an ideal acoustic solution. The speakers emit a sound that matches the frequency of human speech. It reduces the radius that distracting noises can travel, making conversations from the other side of the room less audible. As for adjoining rooms, employees shouldn’t be able to hear any discussions from the other side of the wall. These speakers are usually installed in the plenum of the ceiling for a discreet solution that offers an even dispersion of sound.

Speak to the team at Remark to book a sound masking demonstration or schedule a call back to discuss our sound masking systems in more detail.