Studies are increasingly showing that, by using sophisticated equipment and techniques to control noise levels and lighting options in modern offices, employers are improving their employees' health and wellbeing and productivity.
In a recent survey by Oxford Economics of over 1,200 senior employees, 53% of employees report that ambient noise reduces their work satisfaction and productivity. Open plan offices contribute to this. But too quiet an environment can also be a problem as it stifles communication and creates unease and a lack of confidentiality.
Employers are resorting to techniques such as the broadcast of pink noise. Sound masking helps employees concentrate and reduces the need to resort to expensive sound baffles or personal headphones.
Pink Noise is a variation of white noise that has equal energy in all octaves of frequency. This is broadcast at a low level and has the effect of making human speech less discernable (the technological equivalent of the "muffliato" spell).