Noise Annoys (And Seriously Impacts Workplace Well-Being)

Greg Goode
By Greg Goode 5.13.2019


Feeling distracted at work? Having a hard time focusing? Yearning for the tranquility of a work-from-home day, and not just so you can answer emails in your PJs?

You’re not alone. A recent survey conducted by Remark Group, a UK-based business technology company, polled 1000 office workers to determine what extent noise plays in affecting workplace well-being.

(Just so we’re on the same page: Remark Group defines noise as “unwanted sound judged to be unpleasant, loud, or disruptive,” and workplace well-being as “all aspects of working life, from the quality and safety of the physical environment, to how workers feel about their work, their working environment, the climate at work and work organization.” Got it? Great!)

PRODUCTIVITY DEATH BY A THOUSAND CUTS 

It probably won’t come as a surprise that survey respondents confirmed office noise negatively impacts their performance. But what may shock you is that, based on the results, it’s the single biggest source of workplace dissatisfaction.

Anxiety caused by overhearing sensitive information, distractions arising from sudden outbursts, and concerns regarding the ability to conduct truly private conversations are just some of the symptoms resulting from office noise issues. While these may seem like relatively minor annoyances, the effects add up. According to the report, workplace productivity has fallen steadily in recent years, with many blaming their employer for not instituting the proper measures to minimize interruptions. And while this study was conducted in the UK, it’s safe to assume office workers the world over experience the same obstacles, leading to a similar decline in workplace efficiency and morale.

LET THE HEALING BEGIN

Remark’s report underlines the need for sound masking solutions within the modern workplace. Almost half of survey respondents (43 percent) noted they work in an open office plan. While these spaces are great for collaboration, all too often sound privacy measures haven’t been incorporated within their design, creating the perfect storm for frustrations like those detailed above.

Sound masking solutions not only allow confidential discussions to stay that way, they also help enhance focus by shielding employees from obtrusive sonic assaults. By emitting a low-level background hum, sound masking adds an aural layer to the office environment that serves to both obscure and soothe, depending on your needs. This solution also lets you avoid traditional soundproofing methods that are cumbersome and difficult to install.

To view Remark Group’s entire case study, click here.


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