Sound Masking is Critical in Open Office Designs

An open office configuration is a popular design choice—and for good reason. It builds a collaborative environment, allows you to maximize space, and can make employees feel relaxed and at ease. However, open office design has the disadvantage of making it very easy for workers to get distracted.

While some workers are taking advantage of the open design to work together, the sounds of their conversation (however productive it may be) can be distracting to other employees. For most people, it’s difficult to get work done in a noisy environment, and in an open office, noise is inevitable. Sounds of conversations, coffee machines, phones, and so on can create a busy, distracting work environment.

There are ways to resolve this issue and have a quiet, productive open office. One option is sound masking. Sound masking is the manufacturing of ambient noise in order to reduce distracting sounds.

While it may seem counterintuitive, low-level ambient sound actually makes open offices seem quieter. This is because the way that sound masking is engineered allows it to match the frequency of human speech in order to drown out voices. When you raise the ambient noise level in an environment, the distance that sound can travel decreases.

Sound masking isn’t active noise control. It simply affects the perception of sound. With the engineered ambience of sound masking, human speech that’s not in the immediate vicinity becomes unintelligible, allowing potentially distracting office conversations to fade into the background. The ambient noise reduces the distance that sound can reasonably travel. Instead of hearing everyone’s conversations in the entire open floorplan design, you’ll only hear the conversations nearby, allowing you to focus on your work and the conversations that are relevant to you.

The most obvious benefit of sound masking is that, by reducing distractions, it allows employees to increase their productivity. The benefits don’t stop there, though. Sound masking also improves privacy, giving employees the ability to converse freely without fear of being overheard or concerns about the possibility of disrupting others.

This improved privacy and focus ultimately promotes a more comfortable work environment that makes employees happier. With sound masking, you get all of the benefits of a large, collaborative workspace without one of its major drawbacks.

If you’re interested in exploring the benefits of sound masking or are looking for a tech partner that can provide a high-quality sound masking solution, get in touch with our team of experts at Commercial Technology. Commercial Technology is a progressive integrator of customized IT, AV, and security solutions for commercial, industrial, and educational applications. With over 35 years of experience serving the New York metro area, Commercial Technology has what your company needs.

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