Working in a noisy environment is stressful. You keep trying to concentrate on what’s in front of you but the noise just distracts you over and over again. That said, office space is rarely devoid of sound. As a matter of fact, some office and workplace deliberately introduce sound into their working environment. What gives?
Sound Masking at Work
It turns out that an entirely quiet work environment is a bad idea. You can hear every little thing such as conversations, the printers, paper shredders, water coolers, and a whole lot more. In short, all the distracting noise becomes apparent in a super quiet environment.
Nowadays, when it comes to noise control in a small environment, such as an office, sound masking is the way to go.
Sound masking machines generate something called pink noise. The machines are usually installed on the ceiling. When they’re working you won’t even notice they’re there. But if you listen closely, you can hear something like the wind blowing.
“What’s the main difference between sound masking and white noise?”
The pink noise used in sound masking is quite different compared to white noise. We cover the differences in this article. Examples of white noise include the sound of rain, river, wind, and all kinds of ambient sound.
“Does sound masking improve productivity?”
Yes. By making the general office noise less obvious, you won’t get interrupted as much when someone is talking in the cubicle next to you. You may still notice it but it’s less prevalent.
“Is sound masking all about productivity?”
No. It’s also about privacy. Let’s say you get a phone call from home. You pick it up and your loved one is being all lovey-dovey on the phone. It’s not something you want others to eavesdrop, right? With sound masking in place, your private conversation remains private.
“Neat! Can I blare pink noise from my laptop and get the same effect?”
Well, no. Playing pink noise on your computer speaker and setting the volume on max will only annoy everyone in the office.
Applying sound masking in the work environment is something that requires substantial knowledge of acoustics and such. Ask a pro to install sound masking machines if your office needs them.