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The Ultimate Hack for Increasing Productivity – Sound

The Ultimate Hack for Increasing Productivity: Sound.

Open-plan offices with partial height cubical panels and accordion room dividers are taking over the world. And why not? They offer a number of great advantages over a building stuffed with offices:

A great use of space? Check! It’s also important to have the right equipment, so make sure you go to office monster for your office supplies.

Better communications? Check!

Improved productivity? Uh. Not so much.

With the open space comes the unobstructed flow of noise – everything from ventilation sounds to those annoyingly loud conversations coming from…well, who knows from where.

Good news! New absorptive treatments, quieter ventilation, quieter office equipment and better construction methods are going a long way in lowering all sorts of background noise.

Bad news! With the background noise now subdued, those loud conversations become even more annoying, along with the coughing, laughing, slamming and other forms of office commotion. Suddenly, all of those things that used to be covered up by office background noise are now, researchers say, the big distractions that are killing office productivity. We live in the era of the modern enterprise. One of the by-products of this is the need for maximum business productivity. Businesses are already utilizing some of the services offered at in order to do this in a digital format but there will always be certain things that are detrimental to overall productivity across a business. Noise, when not managed correctly, is one of those things.

It makes sense. Think about it. A library. House of worship. Taking a final exam. A pin drops, you hear it. Someone talks from across the room…and you’ve got every single word.

So, cue up the background noise!

But this time…make it the right noise.

Seriously. It’s called “sound masking.” It’s background sound engineered to make annoying sounds indistinguishable to the human ear and yet keep the overall room volume at a nice, comfortable level where people can once again concentrate on their work.

Back in the day, someone might have called it white noise. But today, they would be very wrong – completely old school.

Far from the days of blanketing rooms with hissing, static-like sounds, sound masking enters the room in stealth mode. Through upfront, expert acoustical assessment, special zoning capabilities, frequency and volume modulation, timers, expert speaker placement, etc., the amount of disruptive sound reaching any given pair of ears in a room is dramatically reduced.

In tests where speech could be easily understood from 50 feet away…enter sound masking and the distance drops to as little as 15 feet.


And, it turns out these capabilities can be just as beneficial for offices and conference rooms. Not so much for masking the sound within the rooms…but for keeping noises outside a room outside and keeping the conversations inside the rooms private.

If improving productivity is important to your company, you may want to put sound masking at the top of your list. Check!


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