In May, the New York Times addressed the problem of workplace noise head on in an article that highlights the many challenges posed by open office layouts. As low or non-existent cubicle walls have become the norm in many modern offices, employee dissatisfaction and distraction levels are soaring. One quote from the article is especially telling:
“You talk to more people in an open office, but I think you have fewer meaningful conversations,” said Jonathan McClelland, an energy consultant working in the loft. “You end up getting interrupted a lot by people’s random thoughts.” That’s hitting the nail right on the head. You want communication in any office, but it’s essential to value quality over quantity.
In response to this pervasive problem, businesses are scrambling to re-establish some sense of privacy and noise control. Sound masking “pink noise” technology and acoustic materials are playing a big role in dampening the buzz in offices. Many employees simply wear headphones all day long to block out unwanted conversations. That’s far more isolating than high cubicle walls could ever be! We prefer to offer panel extenders that limit noise without forcing workers to literally cover their ears so they can concentrate.