In past blogs, we mentioned how workplace noise is managed in large open space office areas – through careful space-planning, the use of sound absorption materials and employing sound masking devices. Employers are keen on tackling workplace noise because it’s very costly & distracting. It ruins creativity, stifles productivity and needlessly adds to employee stress. Recently, a fourth element was introduced to us and the philosophy behind it is called “sound awareness”.
A great majority of employees are very unhappy with noise levels at work. According to a 2013 survey by Gensler, a global design firm, 53% say other people disturb them when they try to focus. In large open space office areas, the primary contributor to workplace noise is people’s voices because human beings confined in a noisy area have tendencies to talk louder in order to be heard. After all, an active workplace is unlike a library.
Speaking of libraries, what if the workplace was assigned different sound level limits in different areas akin to our road’s speed limit to manage workplace noise levels? Less active areas are assigned a lower noise level limit while busier and active areas are assigned a high noise level threshold. This system is fast becoming a reality and could prove to be revolutionary. Employees can be made aware of how much workplace noise level can be tolerated in any given area which makes each employee accountable and actually be part of the solution – not the cause. At the centre of this system is a sound monitoring device called The Jabra Noise Guide™.
The Jabra Noise Guide™ is a portable device that gives immediate visual feedback, helping workers be aware if an area’s assigned noise level is good or past the limit by turning green, yellow or red. By being aware, hopefully it encourages workers to “obey the sound limit” and reduce workplace noise.
The Jabra Noise Guide™ can be customized to be more sensitive for larger active work areas with telephones or collaborative work styles or less sensitive for smaller areas where the primary function is non-verbal and typical workplace conversations. It includes a floor stand but can be mounted on system panel via an optional cubicle mount or on a table via an optional table stand. The Jabra Noise Guide™ has an MSRP of C$860 while the optional cubicle mount and table stand both have an MSRP of C$80.00 each.
For noisy work areas, we highly recommend using binaural (two-sided) headsets to significantly reduce background noise resulting in better telephone conversations. If you prefer being wireless, the Jabra Pro 9450 DUO (#9450-69-707-105) is an excellent wireless headset model that is simple to use and easy to install. Best of all, it connects to both desk phone and PC (via USB adapter).
For more information regarding Jabra Noise Guide™ and Jabra wireless headset solutions, please visit Jabra’s website at www.jabra.ca or feel free to call one of our friendly and knowledgeable Jabra wireless headset specialists.