North Dallas is in a huge commercial real estate growth. Office construction in Dallas is now second only to New York City, and had even beaten NYC in the amount of pre-leases by more than 10%.
Office designs now aim to maximize the space instead of attempting to expand. Multiple work zones can fill an expansive office space, with teams working together when needed.
But mashing together your employees to try to utilize office space could be more costly in the long run with the high cost of distractions, unless you take steps to also maximize your other investment: your employees, their well-being and productivity.
The downsides of the open office all revolve around noise, and is solved through acoustic design and sound masking.
- 60% of study respondents said they could get more done if it were quieter
- 56% said the ability to insulate themselves from distractions was very important
- 50% said noise keeps them from being as productive as they could be
One of Speech Privacy Systems success stories happened with Sigma Relocation LLC in Dallas.
With a recent expansion of their call center came an increased noise problem. The company locates apartments for clients, and most of the work is done on the phone. Employees are required to be sociable and had to fight through the accumulated conversations around them to hear and be heard.
Sigma Relocation LLC installed sound masking. They were able to add more desks in their available office space and avoided the huge cost of renting additional space through the efficient power of intelligent sound masking.
The work environment improved in terms of noise and overheard conversations. Employees were less distracted and happier, able to charm their clients without disturbing colleagues or being disturbed.
Productivity increased, and the company was able to maximize their space with more desks as they continued to expand by 2 to 3 employees a month.
Distraction from speech
The intelligibility of the sound determines its distracting power. Street noise, general hubbub, can be easily tuned out. But speech isn’t. Speech privacy is achieved when talk is heard but not understood. It becomes background noise, not distracting. Studies show that moderate background noise is even beneficial to employees’ creativity. But not intermittent speech, which negatively affects cognitive ability.
Implementing a silence rule, when possible in the type of work, doesn’t eliminate the need for spoken collaboration and exchange of information between colleagues or employees and clients, and only makes such conversations carry further, louder, an unacceptable level of speech privacy.
A study in Denmark found that as the number of people in a single room increased, so did the number of people taking sick leave.
The ABCs of acoustic design helps achieve speech privacy: Absorption, Blocking and Covering.
Traditionally, carpeting and ceiling tiles took care of Absorption and Covering, but this isn’t always possible nor attractive with today’s modern office spaces. EcoPrivacy Acoustic™ panels are flexible enough not to require structural redesign, pieces of functional art that contribute toward noise absorption and blocking, wherever you choose to place them, free-standing between work zones or installed on walls as colorful, energetic backdrops.
Sound masking is also easy to install, with speakers hidden in the ceilings or plenum space. Together, they’re the most effective per dollar spent, absorbing and blocking noise from carrying far, filling in the wavelengths of sound and reducing the stark difference between the ‘quiet’ and the ‘loud’ volumes in the office.
The result? A good-looking work environment that promotes all the benefits of shared space without sacrificing employee wellness.
Eliminate the intelligibility of sound, and you remove its distracting power and the frustration and resentment it causes.
Download our whitepaper, Smart Workspaces Need Smart Acoustics.