Sight, aesthetics, and layout are well-recognized considerations when planning a workplace environment. Put simply, employees thrive when they have a clean, safe, and comfortable environment in which to work. Noise is also an important consideration when it comes to employee productivity. Of course, it is hardly possible, or ideal, to eliminate all noise from the work environment. However, sound masking is one technique that businesses can use to reduce obtrusive noise, therefore creating a better work environments.
Sound masking is a technique whereby natural or manmade sounds are introduced into an environment to cover up or mask pre-existing sounds. The aim of sound masking is to render pre-existing sounds less noticeable and distracting. Businesses can utilize sound masking to increase employee privacy, improve worker productivity, create a more comfortable working environment, and reduce complaints about obtrusive noise. 4 ways sound masking can help create a better work environment include:
- Enhanced Privacy: Privacy can be an important commodity in business. Unfortunately, in some workplace environments, casual listeners can hear confidential conversations. Sound masking equipment can help businesspeople and their clients feel confident that their conversations will remain confidential.
- Comfortable Quarters: Employees who have peace of mind and are free from unwanted and obtrusive noise are likely to be more productive. Today’s office places are a hub of activity and sounds. Noise from phones, fax machines, and outside conversations can be intrusive. Sound masking does not eliminate outside noise altogether. But it can take the edge off external noises, thereby making our physical workspaces more comfortable places to be.
- Higher Concentration: Quiet is encouraged in libraries for a reason. An absence of noise can help people concentrate. Conversely, most people find loud and unexpected noises distracting. Sound masking smoothes out our auditory experience. It helps filter out jarring noises and replaces them so that we experience a more soothing auditory hum. As a result, the sounds we do hear become part of the background rather than the foreground.
- Higher Satisfaction: Unnecessary noise is associated with stress. Trying to get a good night’s sleep when the neighbor’s dog is barking, or a few extra winks of sleep when the racket of lawn equipment arrives next door first thing in the morning, can give you an idea of how distressing noise can be. Sound masking helps create a more peaceful sonic environment. Workers with peace of mind can devote more of their mental and physical resources to being productive.
Great attention is paid to the look, feel, and layout of our workplaces. Overlooked, is the quality and character of the sonic landscapes we inhabit and work in. Sonic landscapes that are free from jarring, unexpected, and distracting noises will be less stressful and more comfortable to work in.
As a result, sound masking can help create workplace environments that are more enjoyable to work in. Such environments are more conducive to concentration, creativity, and productivity. Sound masking also enhances privacy in the office. By fostering “zones of privacy,” sound masking equipment helps nurture many of the ingredients essential to any business success: most notably, trust, confidentiality, creativity, worker satisfaction and productivity.