The Benefits of Better Sound Masking Systems

The High Cost of Conversational Distractions

The modern office is a dynamic environment. Due to the combination of rising real estate prices and the recognition that team-based solutions are often much more valuable than the sum of their individual parts, the open plan office is here to stay. These ROI gains come at a cost, though. Team members don’t sit quietly at their desks. Focused, highly productive teams hold impromptu meetings, discuss current projects and solve complex problems – all good things. But with few walls or dividers to block or absorb sound, voices travel much further than their intended audience. The result is that one team’s collaboration (or idle talk) is distracting and stress-inducing to the rest of the workspace, and overall production suffers. Numerous studies have concluded that conversational distractions are the number one cause of lost productivity in open office spaces, and a 2008 Basex study estimated that distractions cost businesses like yours $587 billion.

How to Achieve Speech Privacy

Like light, sound is a wave and spreads out in all directions from its source. Hard surfaces reflect it, walls block it, and soft surfaces absorb it. Other sounds can cover it up. But unimpeded, noise can travel pretty far. Absorb, Block and Cover — “The ABCs of Speech Privacy” — represent the three ways you can improve your acoustic environment. Of the three, covering typically offers the most improvement per dollar spent. So any acoustic privacy plan will typically begin with a modern sound masking system.

Benefits of Sound Masking Quantified

  • Focus improved by 40%
  • Distractions reduced by 51%
  • Stress reduced by 27%
  • Error rates reduced by 10%
  • Productivity increased by 10% – 40%

How to Achieve Speech Privacy

Ever hear the saying, “it’s so quiet you could hear a pin drop?” The reason you can “hear a pin drop” over distances is because there’s nothing to cover or otherwise impede the sound from being detected by your ears.

Sound masking has been around for more than 40 years and is widely used in Fortune 500 companies, small businesses, medical facilities and government institutions. Modern sound masking systems produce a broad spectrum, targeted sound that is intended to be both comfortable to workers and effective in covering and “filling in” the structured sounds of human speech.

Andy Stern’s Office Furniture, Inc.  Offers Two State of the Art Masking Systems manufactured by Speech Privacy Systems and Soft db.

To request a free office consultation call one of our two locations – you and your open plan staff will be happy you did!


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