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The Power of Sound Masking in Modern Open Offices - MCC blog post


In the dynamic landscape of modern workspaces, open offices have become a ubiquitous trend. However, this contemporary design has an unintended side effect – noise pollution. A recent survey found that 70 percent of employees are regularly disturbed by conversations and other noise distractions in their workspace. Furthermore, it is estimated that the average worker loses about 5 percent of their productive time due to audio distractions. This is where sound masking, a strategic solution to manage noise levels, comes into play.


What is Sound Masking?

Sound masking is a technology designed to reduce noise distractions and protect speech privacy. It adds a low-level, non-distracting background sound to an environment to mask unwanted noise, improving overall comfort and productivity. Let’s delve into five key ways sound masking can help your business.

1. Enhances Concentration

Numerous studies have found that sound masking can improve cognitive performance by up to 48 percent. By masking distracting noises, employees can focus better on tasks and deliver higher-quality work. In a 2015 report entitled “A Psychological Approach to Resolving Office Noise Distraction” by N. Oseland and P. Hosdman, they state, “Noise is one of the top causes of dissatisfaction and loss of productivity in the workplace.”

Picture of a modern open office with soundmasking and a quote from the blog post reading "Sound masking can improve cognitive performance by up to 48%"2. Reduces Stress

In the same 2015 report, they found unwanted sound or noise “can result in annoyance, heightened stress levels and reduced performance.” In terms of efficacy, sound masking has been shown to reduce employee stress by as much as 27 percent. By dampening the distraction of coworkers’ conversations it creates a more serene and less stressful work environment.

3. Increases Productivity

In a 2018 report, Terrapin Bright Green found that employees reported 55% less wasted time following the installation of acoustic treatment.

4. Preserves Privacy

Sound masking is not just about reducing noise; it’s also about preserving privacy. It makes spoken conversations less intelligible, thus helping to keep private conversations private.

5. Cost-Effective Solution

The cost of a sound masking system is minimal compared to its benefits. The average 30,000-square-foot office sound masking system costs between $50,000 and $75,000. Considering the productivity gains and stress reduction, it’s a worthy investment.

In conclusion, sound masking is a powerful tool for businesses with open offices. It enhances concentration, reduces stress, increases productivity, preserves privacy, and is a cost-effective solution. If you want to improve your workplace environment and boost productivity, consider implementing sound masking in your office. Reach out to MCC’s Audio Visual Solutions team to learn more about how to implement this technology in your workspace.