Businesses lose at least $10 million annually due to workplace distractions and poorly designed technology according to a survey by Fox News. The survey revealed that workers lose about an hour every day to interruptions. About half of the participants reported working interruption free for only 15 minutes at a time.
It’s not just technology that leads to distractions. Low-level noise can increase stress and reduce motivation in open plan offices. Most employees take steps to combat distractions to enhance productivity. Solution?
Today, sound masking is beneficial to many companies. It helps them to succeed in various ventures. As more companies shift to open office design, sound masking remains the most reliable means of managing office noise. Noise affects employee comfort, performance, and retention.
What is sound masking?
Sound masking employs different noise frequencies to increase ambient background noise to mask speech of others, making their conversations unintelligible.
Sound masking has existed for more than 40 years. It’s widely used in leading companies, government institutions, SMEs and medical facilities. Current sound masking systems generate a broad spectrum aimed at making workers comfortable, efficient and effective.
So, why use sound masking?
1. Safeguards your customers
Currently, most orders are placed online and on the phone. When your customers call, they may provide sensitive information like their credit card number. Without a proper mechanism, anyone close to phone operators can hear that information.
Will your customers be happy knowing third parties can hear confidential information they share? Customer info is critical for satisfaction and company reputation. Sound masking helps cut down the risk of data breach by reducing the risk of conversation being overheard and speech intelligibility.
2. Protect yourself and employees
At workplaces, casual conversations with co-workers exist. Most people converse openly thinking that info will not get out of the office. However, a phone conversation can leak such conversations. Your customers can also pick information from conversations when they are on the phone with your operator. Sound masking minimizes the chances of customers eavesdropping.
3. Keeps private meeting private
Some meetings are very private in business. For instance, when deliberating on launching a new product, acquiring a new company or laying someone off. Sound masking keeps such meeting private. It makes speeches unintelligible to an unintended listener. Eavesdropping is greatly reduced.
4. Reduce distraction
Distractions in workplaces come in many ways. Gossip is one of them that’s sometimes very enticing. In one way or another, it prevents you from hitting your targets on time. Think about the number of minutes lost to distraction from conversations and how long it takes you to get back on track.
5. Deal with awkward silence
Have you ever walked into a dead quiet room? Or worked in an office that too silent? Uncomfortable, right? It’s too silent that you can hear key strikes, doors, and drawers opening and shutting even if they’re several feet away. When it’s too quiet, such sounds become a distraction. By increasing background ambient noise levels, you make workplaces more suitable for everyone.
In the future, we may be jawing about the disadvantages of another office design plan. But for now, an open office plan is appropriate and adopted by many organizations and businesses. Distractions and data security are the new challenges. Sound masking can solve both.