Does Your Office Need Better Speech Privacy Technology?

Flexible and open workspaces are making office privacy an even bigger challenge than it already was. Whether it’s a matter of compliance or practicality, organizations need to consider speech privacy and noise disruption in their new spaces and workplace setups. Flexible working arrangements and open space offices can make it hard to focus on tasks and to keep some conversations confidential. 

When You Need a Privacy System 

Modern office construction—especially buildings with LEED designations—often leaves significant gaps around doors and wall partitions. While good for airflow, this results in conversations from conference and meeting rooms being easily overheard in adjacent hallways and reception areas.

Privacy systems—which are different from the sound masking systems used in open office areas—are specifically designed to obscure conversations and presentations in adjacent meeting rooms. They are especially important around meeting rooms where highly confidential matters (e.g. financial results, contract negotiations, pending layoffs, or intellectual property) are being discussed.

A privacy system creates background noise set at a frequency that covers up sounds like voices. These sound masking solutions can be an affordable way to lessen distracting noises and improve privacy for employees, patients, and clients. 

And it’s not just productivity and privacy at stake. Open office noise increases stress and negative moods by 25%, meaning it can be detrimental to the employee experience. Fortunately, the latest sound masking technology can help significantly.  Consider installing a privacy system when:

  • Your industry requires it. Speech privacy is especially important in certain industries like healthcare, law, finance, and government. In these cases, your offices likely need to comply with strict regulatory requirements to protect people and information.  
  • You don’t want employees to overshare. There are times you don’t want coworkers or others in the office to overhear sensitive information. Even if you don’t work in a regulated industry, employees will still have occasions where they have to discuss personnel issues, trade secrets, etc. 
  • Your office is noisy or busy. Hearing others talk in the background can be distracting, interfere with your train of thought, and make work take longer. Noise can also be frustrating and hurt morale. 
What’s New in Sound Masking Technology? 

Like other technologies, the equipment used for sound masking technology has been evolving. The new adaptable generation of solutions is especially valuable for open offices and modern engagement spaces. Multipurpose engagement spaces should allow users to be comfortable working and collaborating in ways that may require privacy or lack of distractions. 

New features and improvements in sound masking help to achieve both. Today’s sound masking trends include: 

  • Smaller solutions. Powerful but petite sound masking generators blend into the background while still protecting speech privacy. 
  • More subtle designs. New equipment including loudspeakers and transducers are easier to conceal in a variety of spaces. They easily fit into the different architecture of modern offices. 
  • Portable solutions. With employees using engagement spaces for a variety of purposes, portable sound masking solutions can serve as temporary, transient solutions. Some plug-and-play options can even go home with hybrid workers.  
  • More sound options. Solutions are trending to be less distracting in both look and sound. Loudspeakers strategically distribute music or nature sounds like moving air or water. 
  • Multi-purpose solutions. You don’t always have to invest in a dedicated sound masking system to achieve speech privacy. Consider a solution that can provide background music, announcements, and paging, in addition to sound masking. 

You don’t have to execute an expensive construction project to improve office privacy. Sound masking is a practical way to enhance speech privacy and reduce distractions and interruptions in the office. If you want to know which technologies would work best in your spaces, give us a call or send us a message today