Solving the Noisy Office Problem

A recent study found that workplace distractions caused by office chatter diminishes work place performance significantly and affects office morale.  But you don’t have to keep paying the “noise tax.”   Our simple and affordable Sound Masking solution will solve your noisy and distracted office problem with clear ROI.

A Noisy Office Is A Distracted Office

Gallup Management Journal did an interesting Q&A on office interruptions with Gloria Mark, an associate professor at the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, and a leading expert on work. Usually called distractions, these interruptions were researched from various angles, including but not limited to:

  • What caused the distractions (external or internal?)
  • How many distractions were there
  • How long did it take to get back on task

Let’s look at the facts

Several independent studies using large and statistically-valid sample sizes produced interesting results. These studies, all of which have been published in peer-reviewed professional journals, showed the following improvements resulted from improved speech privacy levels:

  1. Focus: the ability of office workers to focus on their tasks improved by 48%
  2. Distractions: “conversational distractions” decreased by 51%
  3. Error-rates: performance of standard “information-worker” tasks (measured in terms of accuracy [error-rates] and short-term memory) improved by 10%
  4. Stress: when measured in terms of the actual physical symptoms of stress, stress was reduced by 27%

For a summary of these studies, please see this comprehensive overview.

Another recent study conducted by Cornell University found that workers in open-style offices with only low-level noise:

  1. Experienced significantly higher levels of stress.
    2. Made 40 percent fewer attempts to solve difficult problems.
    3. Made only half as many ergonomic adjustmentsto their workstations as did their colleagues in quiet offices, resulting in anincrease in repetitive strain injuries (such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome) and workers’ comp claims.

For still more evidence supporting the quantifiable increase in productivity resulting from a good sound masking system, take a look at the Canadian Research Council’s study of the effects of acoustical privacy on workers.

In order to maximize your Sound Masking ROI, you’ll need to know how to compare your sound masking options. Ready to talk specifics? Contact us today and let our acoustic professionals help you determine the best way to increase privacy in your workplace!

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