Sound masking is an increasingly popular option for businesses to combat noisy work environments and protect their client’s sensitive information. Industries ranging from call centers to law firms and financial companies are enjoying the benefits of a quieter work environment that increases productivity and provides workers with a more pleasant work area. Continue reading
Many legal environments require a high level of privacy. Courtrooms, law enforcement facilities, and the law offices of practicing attorneys must protect the information provided to them by clients, other attorneys, witnesses, and all involved parties. Those providing testimony must feel completely secure or they may not feel comfortable in discussing matters fully. Clients of attorneys must also feel that they can discuss their case privately, or the relationship may be hampered by withheld information.
Although other steps are generally taken to maximize privacy surrounding legal matters, sound masking is an excellent method to assure confidentiality and protect any sensitive information discussed in a law office or other legal setting. Continue reading
Any manager or employee who works in a noisy environment, such as a call center, hospital, or bank can tell you that noise levels can be a serious concern. Whether you’re concerned with keeping your client’s information private or providing a more comfortable workplace that increases productivity, a sound masking system can greatly improve the environment in a work area that struggles with privacy and noise.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 500,000 employees worked in call centers throughout the United States in 2014. These businesses perform a wide range of tasks, from customer surveys to technical support and sales departments. Often composed of dozens of workers in a single room, constantly speaking to clients and customers, call centers can experience serious issues with noise levels.
High levels of sound interference can have a number of adverse effects on a call center. Studies show that worker productivity, employee retention rates, and even customer satisfaction can see a negative impact from excessive noise levels. High volume levels interfere with workers’ ability to hear themselves and potential customers on the phone, and customers can even hear other operators in the background, creating numerous problems.
For example, call centers handle sensitive information from customers, such as credit card numbers, account information, and addresses. If customers hear heavy noise levels in the background of a call, they can lose confidence in a business and may feel more like a number than a valued customer.
Since consistent talking is an unavoidable obstacle in this growing industry, several methods have been researched in alleviating this issue. One of the most effective options involves sound masking technology. This provides positive white noise that cancels out distinctive chatter to create a more calm and pleasant atmosphere. By disguising the noise from other operators, machinery, and foot traffic, sound masking can turn irritating, stressful chaos into an indistinct lull that is less noticeable and distracting. Since volume concerns are just part of the business, tackling the problem with sound masking equipment is one of the few methods that genuinely creates a more positive work space.
Limited space is also not an issue with this technology, as it can be easily installed in the ceiling tiles in a matter of minutes, quickly getting companies back to work. This popular option has been used to great effect by many companies to produce a better call center atmosphere for both their customers and employees.
Sounds masking can decrease indoor atmospheric noise, increase privacy, or reduce noise from outside sources. This can be useful in almost any business, but some industries can particularly benefit from sound masking technology and frequently use it to increase worker productivity and secure private information.
Some popular uses of sound masking include:
- Medical facilities unfortunately suffer from a loud atmosphere that can interfere with patient comfort and recovery. Chatter, alarms, pages, and other sounds contribute to the noise and can keep patients from resting. Sound masking has been proven to be extremely effective in reducing problematic hospital noise and providing patients with a quieter atmosphere that can have a direct impact on recovery, as well as providing privacy to patients.
- Law firms often handle sensitive information, including interviews with clients and confidential discussions. In addition, a busy office may include dozens of staff members bustling around on cases, which can quickly become loud.
- Government and other facilities that regularly deal with confidential information are obvious candidates for sound masking. Military installations and other areas have used this technology for decades.
- Call centers can include dozens or even hundreds of employees talking in close proximity to each other. Sounds masking can help with reducing distractions to other employees, improving productivity and worker morale.
- Banks are typically quiet areas, but clients will often discuss sensitive personal or financial information. Privacy and confidentiality can be greatly increased with sound masking.
- Libraries are renowned for quiet atmospheres, but large numbers of patrons can make it difficult to maintain a low level of noise. Especially at universities, where research is frequently conducted and students need to focus, sound masking can create a much more conducive environment.
- A wide range of corporate offices currently use sound masking, from Disney to Microsoft. Companies with large offices can provide a more productive atmosphere and reduce worker stress by providing calming sound masking.
The benefits of sound masking technology are well established and can be used in a number of ways. With technology constantly developing, sound masking stands to become even more widely used by companies around the globe.
Hospitals are intended to be havens of health and restoration, but among the factors contributing to patient dissatisfaction, high noise levels continues to be the most common complaint. A study conducted by the University of Chicago revealed that hospitals universally featured noise levels above the World Health Organization’s recommendation of 30 dB, even at night. The study reported that the same patients slept significantly less while in the hospital than they would in their homes. Further, the majority of the problematic sounds originated in staff conversation, accounting for 65% of noise disruptions reported by patients. Other sounds included alarms, pagers, intercoms, and roommates.
This reduced sleep can contribute to a number of health problems, included elevated heart rate upon waking, an overall increase in blood pressure, and a generally longer healing period. Patients have reported feeling less at ease and unable to rest meaningfully, making recovery more difficult.
In 2012, Medicare began docking hospitals a portion of their reimbursement payments based on patient’s ratings of the quality of the care they received. Among these ratings, noise complaints have consistently represented the lowest satisfaction score, with only 60% of patients stating that their room was acceptably quiet at night. With these financial consequences and general concerns over patient care growing, many hospitals have begun taking steps to address noise issues.
Working to Reduce Hospital Noise
Among the efforts to reduce troublesome noise levels, wireless technology has emerged as an option to replace alarms and pages from medical equipment, as well and inter-personnel communication, as doctors and nurses are equipped with mobile headsets that can be directly signaled. Some hospitals are forming “quiet teams” to identify how the facility can reduce noise, while some are providing patients with Quiet Kits containing ear plugs, face masks, and Do Not Disturb signs.
Another popular option focuses on soundscaping, also known as sound masking, which uses white noise and other techniques to improve sounds, rather than eliminating them. By turning the inevitable buzz of hospital activity into indistinct white noise, the atmosphere will allow patients to relax and rest more easily.
Other measures include installing a noise meter resembling a traffic light, with green, yellow, and red lights alerting staff and visitors to the volume of the area. Some hospitals have started requesting that patients fill out a “Sleep Menu”, denoting their sleeping preferences and providing the options for warm blankets and aromatherapy.
There’s no debate over the importance of sleep. Healthcare professionals agree that sleep is one of the most imperative elements in keeping the body healthy and recovering from an illness or injury. How to ensure that patients get this much needed rest, however, is a subject of more debate. Hopefully these efforts to reduce troublesome noise for hospital patients will gradually result in a more beneficial atmosphere.
A wide number of studies have been performed on the effects of noise in an office environment. In addition to general annoyance, conversation and other distractions can have a profound effect on worker morale and productivity. Sound masking techniques were developed as a way to counteract this problematic effect for businesses around the world. Although this service may sound superfluous, there are a number of benefits to this technology that have created an increasing demand for the various types of available sound masking.
The Benefits of Sound Masking Include:
- Reduce Distractions – through cancelling out conversations, traffic, and other background sounds, workers are better able to focus on their tasks. Studies have shown that worker productivity can be affected by up to 40% due to noise distractions.
- Privacy – important client information is protected from being overheard and customers can feel more confident in your business, knowing that you take discretion with their information seriously.
- Reduce Stress – white noise and other background sounds have been shown to have a calming effect on many individuals, helping your employees enjoy a more relaxed atmosphere and reducing the likelihood of mental fatigue and burnout, which can lead to increased turnover rates.
Cancelling out problematic noise through sound masking creates a more welcoming and productive atmosphere for employees and visitors alike. These benefits can be of great use in a number of businesses, with some of the most common uses including: banks, labs, libraries, call centers, law firms, and hospitals.
Developments in sound masking technology have made it easy for companies to enjoy these benefits without compromising the aesthetic of their offices. Speakers can be easily camouflaged, painted to match the surrounding area, or installed inside the walls themselves. The variety of available speakers and installation options enable businesses to choose a speaker arrangement that fits their office’s needs.
A number of features have also made it easy to reap the maximum benefit from sound masking systems. Ethernet controls allow the channel, volume, and frequency of sound masking to be adjusted from a computer, while some emitters are even equipped with the ability to automatically select from multiple channels to provide the best suited masking for any situation.
The individual benefits to each company can vary widely. If you’d like to know what our sound masking company can do for your Houston business, contact us today and we can discuss your unique needs.
Dynasty Sound is the premiere sound masking technology provider in the Houston area. Whether you run a hospital, a university library, a nursing home, or a corporate office building, Dynasty Sound can provide your entire location with the best sound masking products in Houston. Continue reading
Dynasty Sound is the best speech privacy company Houston has to offer. Whether you run a hospital, a university library, a nursing home, or a corporate office building, Dynasty Sound can provide your entire location with the best speech privacy products in Houston. Continue reading
White noise masking systems are changing the face of the medical, professional, and collegiate fields. These systems are helping to create a better and quieter learning environment while also creating a more pleasant workspace, and also helping to reduce noise and stress for patients needing rest. Dynasty Sound is front-and-center of this exciting and revolutionary movement. Already there are studies proving that sound masking systems improve the quality and quantity of work produced in offices and universities. So what else does this technology have in store? Let’s find out: Continue reading