Let’s Talk Acoustics
If you were to search the definition of sound masking, you would find this: the process of adding background noise to reduce noise distractions, protect speech privacy and increase office comfort. With open offices rapidly becoming the new norm, sound masking for open spaces is a MUST. Our office even uses this technology in conjunction with acoustic furniture. Originally created for call centers, sound masking can now benefit office spaces, hospitals, banks, military facilities and more.
While it might sound counter-intuitive to add more noise to an already noisy space, it makes perfect sense when we break it down. We’ve all experienced the constant murmur in a bustling restaurant or the buzz of an airplane engine. It’s the same idea here, and conversations are a perfect example. Unless one conversation is exceptionally loud, we aren’t going to be able to pick apart one from the other- therefore creating white noise. Nonetheless, conversations are really only distracting when you can make out what people are saying, which happens daily in offices. If sound is emitted at the same frequency of most conversations, it can make them impossible to understand, therefore reducing the chance distraction. Sound masking can only help reduce office noise by so much. However, when it’s used in conjunction with other things, the results can help a great deal. With the growing popularity of open offices, there is increased demand for acoustic pieces that don’t necessarily scream “sound absorption”.
Trendy pieces that can blend with different office styles are a must. As hard surfaces don’t do much for acoustics, sound-absorbing pieces are a must for any space accommodating more than a couple of people. The increase in demand for this has resulted in trendy pieces that will not sacrifice the design of a space. When we look at manufacturers like BuzziSpace, we see that adding acoustic pieces can be as simple as using acoustic wallpaper. In the very first image for example, the seating is made for sound absorption and privacy, but did you notice the wallpaper in the background? Yes, we can agree it’s stylish, but would you have guessed it’s engineers for sound absorption too?
We are currently experiencing a time where the power of auditory experience is being recognized in more ways than we’ve ever seen before. YouTube and Spotify are flooded with hundreds of new podcasts and ASMR videos weekly. Brands are harnessing audio to reach consumers in new ways. So, what does this mean for the workplace? As open offices become more common, the desire for quiet and the ability to focus in a not-so-quiet workspace continues to grow. Phone booths are the new norm, and spaces that can provide a sense of calm and foster focus work.