Tag Archives: COVID-19 and office architcture

Sound Masking as a Contributor to LEED and WELL Certifications

In the midst of a global pandemic, we’re unsure when businesses will return to a state of normalcy. But when the “new normal” arrives and employees are asked to once again conduct the majority of their professional activities in the office, there’s likely to be increased focus on staff well-being — both physical and mental.

To that end, sound masking can play a key role in improving an office environment’s overall comfort level, which directly impacts workers’ onsite well-being. 

And there are global standards that directly address healthy buildings and employee wellness.

The U.S. Green Building Council (USBGC) and the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI) are the leading construction-industry organizations that advocate globally for healthy-building best-practices.

Each organization features its own set of standards, with criteria-specific credits awarded to construction projects. Building owners can achieve various levels of certification by earning the required credits for each respective standard.

I encourage you to read our new white paper, which provides additional context and links to further information regarding sound masking’s role in the USBGC’s and IWBI’s building standards and their respective certifications.

Covid-19 Office Environment

COVID-19, the “New Normal” Workplace, and the Benefits of Sound Masking

Whether it’s an open-office with communal workspaces or a more traditional layout with cubicles and private offices, workplaces need to adapt to a new, pandemic-driven reality.

Open office-architecture will remain. But with the implementation of staggered work schedules to regulate onsite headcount—and thereby foster proper distancing—a lack of office-acoustic consistency will result.

Reduced/irregular office occupancy means noise distractions, speech privacy, and employee comfort will likely become MORE problematic, not less.

More-traditional offices with cubicle layouts are installing partitions between staff members, whether Plexiglas, modular wall systems, or moveable screens. These options—which are solid surfaces to allow for easier disinfecting—are acoustically reflective and will dramatically alter an office environment’s overall acoustics, making noise distractions, speech privacy and employee comfort challenges even more prominent.

COVID-19 and the “New Normal” Workplace – How Can Sound Masking Help?

With inconsistent—and more disruptive—office acoustics because of onsite employees with staggered schedules and the installation of more acoustically reflective surfaces, sound masking helps by introducing a consistent level of background sound to reduce noise distractions, increase speech privacy, and increase employee comfort.

No matter the extent to which office architecture might evolve because of COVID-19, the potential for noise distractions, lack of speech privacy, and insufficient employee comfort will remain.

When employees endure more-frequent distractions, lack speech privacy, and feel less comfortable, overall business productivity suffers.

And the problems aren’t going away, which is why sound masking remains an easily installed, cost-effective and necessary solution.

Plus, with so many relatively empty offices because of the work-from-home mandates that are so common in today’s environment, now is the perfect time to consider installing a sound masking system in your office.

Learn more about the many ways Biamp’s industry-leading, next-generation Cambridge sound masking solutions will benefit your workplace.

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