Why You Might Need Sound Masking

Have you ever tried carrying on a conversation with another adult when a child {or two or three} is around?  Usually, you have to just wait to finish it- parenting books out the window, it’s just too aggravating to have a real conversation amongst wee ones.  The reason is this: children just can’t help but interrupt, and the result is utter distractability.  I’ve even taught my kids to tap me on the arm when they have something to say, at which point I rest my hand on their hand to signal I understand their request but they need to wait until I finish.  Sometimes this actually works, but never in the car since they can’t reach me.  Even when they can, I usually get derailed from my train of thought.

This same phenomenon occurs in most offices, except it’s not our kids and we don’t love them with all our hearts.  In fact, co-workers are often quite a bit more obnoxious and certainly never follow the hand on your arm rule to interrupt.  And sadly, there’s no way to just finish the conversation later- you’re at work!  So, there you are, held captive by all your co-workers and their drama.  In fact, the average worker is distracted 2 hours a day!

As a result, those facilities that require sound treatment frequently look to sound masking systems that have been designed to emit low-level, structured white noise through in-ceiling speakers via direct-field technology.  The benefits of systems are that they can be zoned to treat specific problem areas and that these zones are invisible.  No awkward walls are added, carpeting or absorbent paneling is not necessary- in fact, facility managers can install the systems themselves in a matter of hours for immediate, effective sound coverage!

But, how does it work?  Essentially, the white noise used in sound masking systems is structured , meaning it is uniform instead of constantly changing, like speech, music, or general office noise.  This consistent noise allows the brain to tune out the inconsistencies and therefore helps workers in two main ways:

  1. First, they are less distracted.  The average worker is distracted more than 2 hours a day!  By reducing the number of distractions workers face every day, you enable those workers to stay focused and be more productive.
  2. Second, they enjoy confidentiality.  Sound masking provides speech privacy which renders surrounding speech unintelligible, and therefore protects the speakers from being overheard if the information is sensitive for any reason.

As you can see, sound masking technology can be quite beneficial for many businesses or practices because it enables workers to be more productive, as well as more protected, whether it’s a trade secret or just personal.  Besides being highly effective, sound masking is a great noise solution because it is fairly inexpensive {especially considering the immediate results}  and it is invisible to the eye and does not require aesthetic changes be made for installation.  As a result, sound masking can be planned for or added to an existing facility.

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