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Sound Masking

Sound masking favors the privacy of conversations and avoids accidental eavesdropping, creating spaces for more productive work that allow employees to focus on the task at hand. Sound masking is the process of adding a non-intrusive background sound low level for reduce the intelligibility of human speech and the distractions acoustics of the environment.

Reduce distractions

Improves productivity

Protects privacy

improves acoustics

Reduce distractions

Open offices are great for collaboration, but offer almost no privacy for talking and are full of distractions.

Sound masking is a critical component of the acoustic design. When designing an optimal acoustic environment, a number of elements must be taken into account in order to address the noise control and privacy of conversations. The added elements may absorb, block or cover the sound.

As sound absorbing and sound blocking materials are becoming less important, it is essential to take into account the "cover the soundThe "architectural acoustics equation.

How does sound masking work?

Acoustic masking hardly noticeable and it sounds similar to the airstream, but it's specifically adjusted to the frequency and amplitude of speech to make it less intelligible.

The sound is introduced through speakers installed in the ceiling, creating a sound veil.

Acoustic masking is often reduce the area in which speech is intelligible from about 15 meters to about 5 meters.

Workers can continue to collaborate with their colleagues, but they can are no longer distracted by conversations on the other side of the office.

Improves productivity

Noise Distractions Cost Money

Noise distractions cause office workers to be more susceptible to noise than office workers. interrupted every 11 minutes¹, and it can take up to 23 minutes for them to get back to the "flow" of what they were doing before the interruption. 

The researchers found that, on average, employees lose 21.5 minutes (4%) per day due to distracted conversations². Some studies have found that this figure can be as high as 86 minutes a day. Even using conservative estimates, this loss of productivity means large economic losses for companies.

%

Minimal increase in productivity³

  • Increased retention of information 90% 90%

%

Increased ability to remember series of numbers⁴.

%

Increased ability to remember words⁴.

Protects privacy

Lack of speech privacy is the top complaint of office workers

Privacy of speech is the inability of an unintended listener to understand another person's conversation. People affected by a lack of discursive privacy hear a lot of conversations they shouldn't, which interferes with their internal monologue and makes it difficult to concentrate.

Lack of privacy in conversations can result in compliance and legal issues. In fact, 53% of employees say that they have heard confidential information company's sound masking system in your workplace⁵. Sound masking can help protect customer information, confidential business plans and sensitive patient information.

Top reason for employee dissatisfaction in office environments

%

of employees are dissatisfied with their level of verbal privacy.

Improves acoustics

Deliver more functional, productive and comfortable work environments

In the wake of the pandemic, new desktop configurations have appeared and the introduction of barriers and modular partitionsaltering the acoustics of the offices.

Facilities and design teams should retrofit the acoustics of these reconfigured environments, and consideration should be given to adding sound masking technology to help create a space that is more comfortable and private.

 

Noise distractions are driving employees crazy (that's why many of them wear headphones).

Constant interruptions to conversations make employees less productive

Sensitive data is communicated and heard in the work environment, and is required by law to be protected.

1. Mark, Gudith and Klocke, "The Cost of Interrupted Work: More Speed and Stress", Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems.
2. Haapakangas, Helenius, Keskinen, Hongisto, 9th International Congress on Noise as a Public Health Problem.
3. Brill, BOSTI Associates, "Debunking Widespread Myths about Workplace Design".
4. Haapakangas, Haka, Keskinen, Hongisto, "Effect of Speech Intelligibility on Task Performance- An Experimental Laboratory Study", 9th International Congress of Noise as a Public Health Problem.
5. Source: National survey conducted by Harris Poll on behalf of CareerBuilder from Nov. 4 to Dec. 2, 2014.

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