Office sound masking is an important workplace component that can help businesses protect private information and improve employee morale.
What is Sound Masking?
Sound masking—otherwise known as “white noise” or “pink noise"—is the only acoustical treatment that involves all sound paths, according to the Taylored Systems Blog. The acoustical effect of walls, carpets, and ceilings do not change, but sound masking can be modified.
According to Healthline, “the color of noise is determine by the energy of the sound signal.” White noise contains equal energy on every frequency. People often use it as constant background noise, and examples include a fan, radio or television static, or an air conditioner.
Pink noise, on the other hand, is equal energy per octave, and is often compared to white noise with the bass turned up. Examples include waves at the beach, rustling leaves, or a steady rain. Pink noise is also helpful for private conversations, and it’s often more enjoyable to listen to in a working environment.
Why Do You Need Sound Masking?
An office sound masking system is important if you don’t want people to overhear certain speeches or conversations. This is especially important for certain industries, such as healthcare, government, law ,and finance, which often have strict confidentially requirements. For example, a business could install sound masking outside of a conference room if it’s near a reception area.
When installing sound masking, architects often use an “ABC” approach: absorb, block, or cover sound. And if you’re concerned about aesthesis, don’t worry. Sound masking installation can be minimal and hardly noticeable.
6 Benefits to Using Sound Masking
Office sound masking is important for a variety of reasons. Not only does it help protect personal information, but it can also improve productivity and employee morale.
Here’s how the six benefits can help your business:
Protect customer information: Did you provide your credit card number over the phone? Did the recipient of that information read it back to you? If so, chances are high that others may have heard it as well. This is especially important in offices where there is a lot of open space. In some industries, such as healthcare, protecting customer information is the law.
Protect personal employee information: You may think that casual employee conversations are private, but phones and other devices may pick up what you’re saying in the office. Be mindful that conversations between employees could potentially reach a customer’s ears.
Ensure privacy for meetings: Meetings are meant to be private, and sometimes sensitive information is the topic, such as a new product launch, a personnel issue, or a company acquisition. Sound masking helps keep private meetings private, and according to Cambridge Sound, 60 percent of employees say a lack of speech privacy is a main point of dissatisfaction.
Fewer distractions: According to Cambridge Sound Management, “employees can waste as much as 86 minutes per day due to noise distractions.”
Remove awkward silences: Awkward silence can lead to distractions, and simple sound masking noises can make a work environment more comfortable.
Enhance workplace productivity: Sound masking can lead to a more enjoyable and productive environment. Noise interrupts employees every 11 minutes, according to Cambridge Sound, and it can take 23 minutes for employees to get back on track. Also, research shows that employees waste almost 22 minutes a day due to distracting workplace conversations. If employees are less distracted, they are more engaged and according to Forbes, “highly engaged teams show 21% greater profitability.”
Office sound masking is an important tool with a variety of benefits that can enhance a workplace, such as protecting important information and ensuring privacy.