Distractions and the Open Office Environment: A Productivity Expert’s Take

By Matt Nees 2.20.2015

Recently Cambridge Sound Management was featured in an article by productivity expert Laura Stack about how employees and managers can reduce and cope with noise distractions in their open office environment. We’re thrilled that the article has been picked up on The Huffington Post and TLNT.com.


An excerpt:

Many workplaces today feature more open spaces and smaller, and often shared, workstations. These open floor plans have become “the new normal” in many organizations. Some people speak of them positively, citing the ability to collaborate with coworkers and the creative feeling they can inspire. However, I hear just as many complaints about the walk-in visitors, interruptions and noise level negatively affecting workplace satisfaction, productivity and speech privacy.


Laura goes on to discuss options for blocking out the noise, including Sound Masking:


Increase background noise to mask the sound. What? Increasing background noise (called sound masking) seems counter-intuitive! Think of it like this. While I’m standing at the kitchen sink with the water running, and my son starts talking to me from across the house, I can tell that he’s talking to me, but I can’t make out what he’s saying. It’s not that he’s talking less loudly; the water is actually “masking” the sound of his voice or covering it up. Adding sound makes speech less intelligible. When you can’t understand what someone is saying, their words are less distracting; in fact, you probably don’t even notice them.

 sound-masking-illustration - open office environment


If you would like to learn more, Laura is offering a free one-hour webinar on the topic on March 17, 2015. Bring your entire team to a conference room and project the webinar on a screen!

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