Offices are meant to be productive places. In reality, they don't always live up to this ideal. Offices are home to a number of distractions, from noisy coworkers to unnecessary meetings. Here are three of the biggest productivity-killing distractions in the workplace along with some tips on how to combat them.
1. Office Noises
Offices are naturally noisy places between the whirr of machines and the ringing of telephones. Depending on where your office is located, you may also have to deal with noise coming from outside the office. It's unavoidable, but it's also a major source of distractions in the workplace.
Staying productive in a noisy office is difficult, but not impossible. You can provide employees with noise canceling headphones for when they need to focus or designate loud and quiet zones to help keep noise levels under control. Or you could go green. Large indoor plants have proven effective at stopping sound from reverberating in offices.
2. The Outside World
Unless your office happens to be soundproof, the outside world will inevitably leak in. If you're lucky enough to live in a quiet area then this may not be a huge distraction. If your office is in a major metropolitan area then there is a constant barrage of outside noise to distract employees. Cars. Sirens. Construction. Barking dogs.
Once again, noise cancelling headphones are helpful for limiting distractions. If the issue is bad enough then you may consider rearranging the office so that work spaces are as far away from the source of the noise as possible.
3. Chatty Coworkers
Of course, conversation is important in the workplace. It helps you build a rapport with your fellow coworkers and it's the best way to collaborate and share ideas. In that way, talk is actually a productivity booster. But not all conversation is equally helpful. Often, conversations in the workplace can devolve into gossip or idle chit-chat. If you have chatty coworkers and you don't want to deal with it, your options are limited. You could walk away if possible or put on headphones. You could try telling your coworker that they're bothering you, although this can often make things even worse.
Limit Workplace Distractions With Sound Masking
There's one thing that all of these distractions have in common: they're all the result of noise. And it's no surprise. Unwanted noise can be extremely irritating. Many office managers are tempted to play "soothing" white noise or background music in an attempt to drown out distracting office noises, but this usually just makes things worse. If you want to drown out noise in the workplace there's a better solution: sound masking.
What is sound masking? To put it simply, it's a way of masking speech and eliminating distractions. Unlike simple white noise, masking noise is specifically tuned to be as unobtrusive as possible while still rendering speech unintelligible. When installed correctly, sound masking covers your office in a blanket of noise that quickly fades into the background. Employees won't notice it at all, but they will notice that they no longer have to hear every bit of idle chatter in the office.
Want more information on how sound masking can increase speech privacy and minimize distractions in the workplace? Please, contact us today at Atlantic Communications. Our team of industry experts will guide you every step of the way from choosing your sound masking system to installing it.