The benefits of an open office are quite numerous; however, this layout model has one significant shortcoming – a clear lack of privacy. This affects people in this working environment both physically and psychologically. Now, there are a couple of ways to make up for this shortcoming, and one of the things you can do is to start considering an investment in a white noise machine.
This can silence some of the most distracting noises in the office and give people a greater sense of seclusion and privacy. Seeing as how this is a method that is in no contrast with the open office floor design, it preserves all the positive aspects of an open office.
With all of this in mind and without further ado, here’s why you need a white noise machine for a higher level of office privacy. Also, here are a few tips on how to optimize its use.
One of the biggest problems with open offices lies in the fact that there are no natural barriers (like cubicle walls) to stop the noise. While they can cancel out the noise, white noise machines can, at least, effectively mask distracting noises. Keep in mind that while the cubicle system has seen its renaissance since the emergence of the pandemic, the truth is that open offices are still seen as a more popular (and a tad more modern) solution.
A personal white noise machine can mask the noise of coworkers talking, their footsteps, as well as the sound of their keyboard typing. It’s there to help lower stress levels, improve productivity, and enable one to focus on the task at hand, even in impossible conditions.
The biggest challenge with using a white noise machine in an office lies in the fact that you’re exposing everyone to the white noise. While this is supposed to be a positive thing, it’s still something that might not well-suited everyone.
To some, white noise can be both distracting and annoying, thus amplifying the symptom that is intended to root out. This is why the position of a white noise machine is so delicate. Ideally, it should be used at key entry points (the door to the breakroom, etc.). Still, by reaching office consensus, you can place it virtually anywhere without causing any trouble or distraction.
Conversing with coworkers while the office is dead silent is not a pleasant thought. Sure, you could chat or move from the main work area in order to talk to the coworkers, but this is highly inconvenient. This is why there are a lot of those who use a white noise machine for office privacy.
Just think about it. We live in a society where the level of anxiety is almost reaching the level of the pandemic. Sure, you’re distracted because you hear your coworkers chatting but try to think for a moment how they feel about this whole setup. How many people are anxious that they’re causing too much noise? How many of your coworkers are unnaturally silent in order to avoid distracting others? All of this can be avoided with the use of white noise machines.
The noise that people produce is troublesome for them and their silent coworkers. By masking it, everyone feels more at ease. Even in an open office, even if there’s no actual barrier between various areas, by using a white noise machine, you can make the surroundings much more intimate.
Even if there are walls in place, the chances are that they’re not very soundproof. This means that using a white noise machine makes an even bigger difference. The office floor can be quite busy during different periods of the day, which is why you have an option of using it selectively. In other words, it doesn’t have to be on an entire day.
Great When Combined with Other Methods
When deciding whether to invest in office white noise machines, a lot of entrepreneurs and managers are comparing this method to its counterparts. The truth is that there’s no reason to make this comparison. You can install sound-absorbing panels, buy a runner rug, soundproof the ceiling, and get a white noise machine at the same time. A combination of methods gives the best result.
In fact, adopting this holistic approach is usually the right way to go. Looking at the layout of the room is also important, seeing as how sound reflects on some surfaces harder than the others. Physical barriers also make a difference, even though they’re completely abandoned in the open-office layout. Still, with the cunning use of screens and see-through shelves, you can somewhat mitigate this shortcoming.
Also, remember that the layout of the office space also makes a difference in your strategic placement of white noise machines. For instance, placing a machine on the desk is great to maximize the use of space, however, the volume will have to be lower.
On the other hand, if you decide to place the white noise machine between two separate areas in order to silence the conversation in the other room/area, you will need a louder machine. The conversation volume is usually around 70 dB, which means that the white noise machine is supposed to be louder.
It’s Great for Remote Work
The last thing you need to understand is that a white noise machine might make a huge improvement in your remote work routine, as well. It’s also simpler to use, seeing as how you have the full autonomy to organize your home office in whatever way you feel like. You can use it in your home office without distracting any other residents/family members, and you don’t have to wait for the consensus.
Overall, it leads to better interpersonal relations in the house, seeing as how you don’t have to quiet down your employees as often. Instead, you can rely on a white noise machine to mask the sound of their regular activities. Seeing as how this is the single biggest concern of remote work, the use of white noise machines makes quite a difference.
Also, there are a lot of guides suggesting that your home office shouldn’t be facing the street but rather your backyard. Other guides suggest that it should be facing east so that you get the biggest amount of natural light early in the morning. The problem is that these are the options that you often won’t have available. You only have so many rooms, and the majority of them already have a function. With a white noise machine, you get the most value from your current setup.
In the end, you need to understand that these machines really aren’t that expensive. Moreover, they’re a one-time investment. This means that you get them once, and your problems are, more or less, solved for good.
At the end of the day, there are some instances in which white noise machines are not a solution. Different people respond differently to white noise. This is something you need to accept before installing one or making it mandatory. In order to ensure that this is the right move, you need to weigh the pros and cons and see which of the options gives you the best net worth. Even though it may not seem so at first, this is a major decision and one that shouldn’t be made lightly.