ROI of Sound Masking

Posted by Abby Wolfe on 01/22/2018

The growing trend in office architecture for the past few years has been large, open spaces promoting more collaboration, a sleek look, and a team-centered environment. With more open space and shorter cubicle walls, employers can no longer rely on office walls and doors to help keep distractions down and production up.

The technology of sound masking has come a long way since its invention in the 60s. Today, it is a crucial part of most office environments, whether you can tell it’s being used or not. That’s the point. Sound masking is background noise that helps drown out distracting noises which send productivity to a screeching halt.

For example, the office chatterbox comes down the hall every morning when employees are first checking their emails. A sound masking system can help drown out the sound of hearing some of those conversations up and down the entire hallway.  

There are two key reasons why your office should use sound masking in large spaces, down hallways, and around cubicles: Privacy and Productivity


It is human nature to engage or listen in on conversations taking place around you. However, not every conversation needs to be shared. To maintain confidentiality and reduce risk, many businesses are installing sound masking technology to help provide speech privacy outside conference rooms, executive offices, break rooms, and more.

This is becoming more and more important for law offices, medical facilities, and financial institutions.

Studies have shown that the proper sound masking system can increase speech privacy by more than 50 percent.


The costs of distractions

A 2008 survey said office distractions result in an average loss of nearly 86 minutes a day. For every distraction, it takes each employee 23 minutes on average to regain full concentration.

Studies also show that even small sound interruptions lead to worker fatigue and an increase in errors made in data entry and other detailed tasks.

Sound masking can help

Sound masking can provide an increase in productivity between 20- 35 percent, while reducing errors by as much as 30 percent. Essentially, the return on investment (ROI) is extremely high for sound masking solutions in the workplace.

Sound masking in action

Recently, Saxum, a full-service marketing communications agency in Oklahoma City, moved into a new, modern office space perched on top of a downtown building. Their offices are designed with collaboration and productivity in mind with large open areas and individual cubbies built along the walls.

In order to keep productivity up, but not hamper the flow of ideas, Cory’s Audio Visual installed a sound masking system that can deliver a more direct white noise into the areas where it is needed the most. The system can also store scheduled increases and decreases in sound for times of heavy traffic and noise during the day, like lunchtime.

In addition to all the other technology installed in their offices to make collaboration and communication easier, this feature will help take their projects to the next level and keep employees less distracted.


For information on sound masking and other tools to help your team be more productive, contact our team today. They will be happy to talk to you about your next project.