In the late 19th century and early 20th century there were two competing forms of entertainment: the Chautauqua and the Vaudeville show. The former would organize gatherings of people, and through lectures and performances, provoke new and exciting ideas that could only be achieved by congregating many curious minds in one location. The latter would assemble a hodgepodge of magicians, jugglers, acrobats and comedians into a night full of unrelated, non-homogeneous acts.
As you emerge from your pajama pants cocoon to re-enter the beautiful pandemonium that is your office, you may notice a bit of Chautauqua and a bit of Vaudeville. You have solved a problem on a meeting room whiteboard that would have taken twice as long over the phone or a video call. You also remembered just how loud and distracting human beings can truly be. A Vaudeville show might sound like an amusing Saturday night, but it does not make for an ideal place of business. No one wants to figure out a pivot table in Excel while the guy who thinks he is a comedian is bellowing 6 feet away.
We have all been there, when you are trying to concentrate but must listen to Brenda in Accounting on the phone with her kid’s principal refusing to believe her “little angel” Bryson would start another fight at school. While at the same time, Miguel is clearly having the funniest conversation of his life, based on the way he is belly laughing at everything the customer says. Plus, Marcus and James have been showing each other TikToks ever since they meandered back from lunch. And all of that while Shantel, bless her heart, has given the same training presentation so many times that you could run the PowerPoint at this point.
If only there were a way to experience the benefits of being in the office while minimizing the audible distractions…luckily, there is! If you are looking for a short-term solution for yourself, then we offer a wide array of noise cancelling headphones at wbmason.com. If you are looking for a more of a long-term, office-wide solution, then there is technology called “Sound Masking”. Hospitals, law offices, and government buildings have been using it for years to protect private information said out loud. But Sound Masking is not reserved only for safeguarding confidential information, it also blocks out unwanted background babble. Sound Masking involves installing speakers, usually in your office ceiling, that emit a frequency the same as that of human speech. So, it blends all the sounds of the workplace into one pleasant and natural hum. Unlike white noise which irritates the ears if played for a full workday at the volume needed to drown out your lovely coworkers, Sound Masking truly resolves the issue without developing a migraine. And that’s where W.B. Mason can help. As part of our interiors service offerings, we’re happy to discuss sound masking options in the workplace. Please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and check out other projects here.
Now, as for Lisa who reheats fish in the kitchenette’s microwave and eats it at her desk, you are on your own for now…
1. Biamp Systems. “What is Sound Masking?”. www.soundmasking.com/. Accessed 24 August 2021.