What is office sound masking?
If you’ve been looking for a way to improve productivity in your office, minimize compliance and security concerns, or simply create a more comfortable and engaging workplace, sound masking could be the solution for you.
What is Sound Masking and How Does it Work?
Office sound masking is the art of adding “noise” to a space to make it seem quieter, and minimize distractions. It might seem like an unusual concept, but it’s actually a proven technique for enhancing workplaces.
Similar to white noise, sound masking involves the use of audio on a specific frequency, specially engineered to drown out conversational distractions. While it doesn’t cancel out all human speech, it does influence how speech travels, limiting the “radius of distraction” in a modern workplace. It also aids in speech privacy.
Typically, an audio and technology expert will install a series of loudspeakers into the ceilings, or close to the ceilings of workspaces to create an audio perimeter. Using a frequency curve, the speakers will then emit a pleasant ambient noise which renders external conversations unintelligible.
While the exact technology used in a sound masking system will vary, the toolkit often includes:
- Noise generators
- Speakers and amplifiers
- Application software
The Benefits of Effective Sound Masking
Sound masking adds audio to a landscape, to effectively lower the ambient sound level of the workspace, minimizing distractions caused by distant conversations. The core benefits include:
- Improved productivity and concentration: Sound masking reduces the distractions in the workplace, which leads to more productive, happier staff. In fact, studies show a reduction in distractions improves productivity by 75%.
- Increased privacy and confidentiality: Whether employees are having private conversations, or they’re sharing sensitive information with employees, it’s important to retain a high level of privacy.
- Improved workplace comfort: With fewer distracting conversations getting in the way of focus, employees are more likely to feel comfortable and content in their office space.
- Reduced background noise: While adding noise to your office to make it feel quieter may seem counterintuitive, sound masking will help excess noise to fade into the background.
- Improved office acoustics: By eliminating excess noise distractions and overlap between conversations, sound masking systems can also improve the acoustics of a work environment.
What to Consider When Investing in Sound Masking
The best way to leverage the benefits of effective sound masking technology is to invest in assistance from a reputable installation team, with experience in the audio, video, and communications space. Infassure will work with you to develop an effective office sound masking strategy, considering important factors such as:
- Office size and layout: The design and size of your office space will play an important role in determining the type of technology you need for your sound masking system, and where speakers and amplifiers may need to be installed.
- Type of work: The type of work that takes place in your office can also impact your sound masking needs. If your team members frequently engage in confidential phone calls and conversations, you may need a more robust sound masking system to reduce security issues. Alternatively, if you have a highly collaborative office, less masking may be necessary.
- Noise levels: Take into consideration your office space and its current level of unwanted sound. This is especially important in an open office vs. a private office – and the need for speech privacy.
- Budget and cost: Sound masking systems can vary in price, depending on the technology used, and the quality of the audio.
- Integrations needed: If your conference room or other workspace is already utilizing other technology, your masking solution will need to integrate with them.
- Installation: Sound masking solution installers help integrate and configure your system according to your needs.
Say ‘Yes’ to Sound Masking Systems
As today’s workplace environments become busier and more chaotic, the right office sound masking strategy can be extremely beneficial. Employers and business owners can leverage sound masking to improve productivity and enhance employee engagement.
To learn more about how office sound masking can benefit your business, contact the experts at Infassure today.