Office noise is quite a problem- it frustrates managers and workers alike. Noise adds up to a lot of distraction, which breaks worker focus. Getting interrupted frequently, even by your own distraction and certainly by others’, kills productivity. Usually it’s the conversational distraction that grabs your attention- whether you want it to or not. It could be the overly loud sales guy, the girl chatting it up with her mom, the guy striking out again, or interesting office gossip- no matter what it is, these bits and pieces of convos add up quickly in close quarters; in fact, the average worker is distracted more than 2 hours a day, which costs businesses about $600 billion a year.
There are a couple of solutions that can be used to cover office noise- thus, this post is for workers and managers alike.
- Office-wide sound masking
- Individual white noise machines
There are several ways to use white noise for offices: either a sound masking system or a single sound machine. Both employ white noise so that, even though noise continues, the brain tunes it out. Office-wide sound masking, such as the VoiceArrest, is highly effective for larger offices, conference rooms, board rooms, or rows of cubicles. Zones can be set up for the areas that need the sound masking. In contrast, a single sound machine or white noise generator, is more effective for single users, such as on a desktop. While effective for single users, a single machine will not be effective for more than that. Thus, when selecting an office solution, it’s important to keep in mind how much square footage you’re trying to reduce noise in. If just a couple areas need noise reduction, sound machines might do the trick. On the other hand, if it’s a larger area or multiple bigger areas, a sound masking system is the better choice.