Is It Time for Sound Masking in Your Office? 4 Ways to Know

As an office grows, the level of noise it produces grows with it. On top of ordinary workplace chatter, there’s no end to the sounds produced by printers, copiers, and other devices. Even desktops and laptops add their own hum.
Sure, it may be subtle, but it adds an undeniable psychological weight to day-to-day work.

An office doesn’t have to be noticeably loud and annoying to subtract from employee focus. The effect on how well people concentrate begins at low decibel levels.

In previous posts, we’ve talked about the benefits of sound masking. Small businesses can get sound masking done more easily than larger ones because they have less square footage overall.

If you have a large office, sound masking can still be a good idea. In fact, larger spaces often make the benefits more noticeable, not less. However, installation can be a bit more time-consuming since digital speakers must be distributed carefully throughout the space.

Is it a worthwhile investment for you? Here’s how to know:

You’re Managing Lots of Confidential Communications
Law offices and other businesses that deal in private communication can make things easier on workers and clients by masking ambient sounds. This is especially important in parts of the business adjacent to reception or other public-facing areas.

You Have an Open Floor Plan
Sometimes, an open floor plan is useful. It can foster collaboration, but it has drawbacks: Less private space can contribute to a muddled environment where teams are always overhearing what others are up to. Masking can help.

People Keep Changing Seats (or Wanting to)
Some people are more alert to noise than others. Especially these days, when more workers are exploring the value of single-tasking on just one thing at a time, too much noise can keep your workforce from reaching its full potential.

Your Team is Growing
For every new person your business adds in a set space, noise and distractions rise exponentially. For the practical purposes of moving back and forth and arranging work in a defined workspace, it’s a good idea to shoot for at least 60 square feet per individual workstation.

Ideally, there should be a defined amount of “quiet room” for every ten occupied workstations.
This might seem like a lot, but it’s crucial to good human factors design! Sometimes, of course, you can limit distractions by re-organizing your space. Some spaces might not be getting maximum use.

For example, the average executive office is anywhere from 90 to 150 square feet – about two windows in length. Senior executives might command offices from 200 square feet to 400 square feet.

With that in mind, each area allocated to an executive could hold 3-5 individual contributors.
Optimizing your space is important, but sometimes you might find yourself dropping below the ideal person-to-space ratio despite your best efforts. Sound masking lets you regain the productive edge.

When you strive to get the most from each employee, sound masking is a sound investment. Atlantic Communications Team can plan and execute your project no matter if you’re moving into a new office or have been in your current space for years.

Sound masking uses nearly-imperceptible white noise to reduce distractions and “blur” ambient conversations. The digital speakers used are discreet and don’t usually require maintenance. However, it’s vital they be installed professionally to maximize the effect. To learn more or get started, contact us.