Do You Know the Secret to Minimizing Distractions in Your Office?
Posted on October 23, 2012 by Jennifer McKinney in Best Practices, Culture, Human Capital Management
Chances are if you’ve spent time in your office lately, you’ve noticed how noisy it is. Distractions are everywhere: keyboard typing, distant conversations, paper shuffling, printing, etc. Not only are these types of interferences responsible for a loss in focus, but over time they can result in loss of production.
However, there is one solution. Broadcasting a hum of white noise through speakers strategically positioned within the office’s ceiling helps mask distracting sounds in the workplace. White noise contains most sound frequencies, making it ideal for dissembling even the smallest interferences.
Ideal for blocking out the ambient noises commonly found within the workplace, it has been shown to increase productivity dramatically. According to a study conducted by the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), workers in offices with white noise were:
- 48% more focused on their work
- 51% less distracted, resulting in
- 10% fewer errors and a
- 27% decrease in worker stress
So, what does it really sound like? Imagine being in a room where 1,000 people are talking simultaneously. There is no way your brain can pick out one voice and the murmur created makes 1,000 voices all sound as one. Many of the employees in TriNet’s Bradenton and Reno offices have described it as sounding like someone turned on the A/C or a fan. Though not kept at a loud setting, when we briefly turned it off several employees popped their heads up to find out what had happened to it. The differences between having it and not having it were immediately noticeable. Under white noise conversations are distant and unrecognizable; without it, more than one conversation can distinctly be heard, word for word.
Nearly every office environment can benefit from the effects of white noise, especially those that house close working individuals with differentiated tasks. A few examples of this are a call center, sales office, and settings that require a great deal of concentration and focus.
Have you added white noise to your office? We’d love to hear your thoughts and/or experiences with adding white noise your work environment and how it has made a difference.