Working in an open office can cause problems with productivity and focus. How do you drown out the constant distractions all around you? Read on to find out how to use white noise for better concentration and productivity at the office.
Picture this. You're sitting in your office at the beginning of the day. You've got a bunch of projects to work on, but you're going to get really focused and get them all done. You boot up your computer and start working–
"Hey, thanks for helping me out with this," says a coworker in the next room.
"Yeah, no problem. So what's the issue?"
And for the next several minutes you're trying to stop getting distracted by the intermittent, constantly-perceptible-but-not-always-intelligible noises of their conversation.
We've all been there. The question is, how can you manage it? Because this is a serious problem not limited to pure annoyance. Multiplying these distractions and breaks from focus across many kinds of distractions (conversations and meetings, printers and copy machines, people walking, keyboards clacking, birds chirping, etc), and you end up with way less productivity overall.
The Open-Office Problem
There's an additional problem of privacy and confidentiality. Especially in an open office environment, but really in any office with imperfect soundproofing, people may - accidentally or deliberately - overhear confidential information. This is a tax from three different angles - people spend extra energy trying to focus and not overhear potentially confidential conversations, those having the conversations are paranoid and quiet about discussing such information, and if the information does get out, the company may have to pay a ton in lawsuits. Talk about a lose-lose situation!
Fortunately for all involved, there is a way to fix this. A white noise sound machine, such as the Yogasleep Dohm, can mask background noise with fan sounds. It drowns out any interruptive or annoying sounds and gives you a personal soothing sound oasis. In an office, a white noise machine can improve focus, benefit productivity, and decrease both accidental and deliberate eavesdropping.
The Best White Noise Machine for Office Productivity
You don't have to take our word for it: House Method rated the Marpac/Yogasleep Whish as the best white noise machine for office productivity. "The Whish is a sound machine that plays high-quality recordings of 16 different sounds: white noise in various pitches, relaxing noises (like chimes and meditation tones), and natural sounds (like oceans, rain, and streams)," writes Kealia Reynolds at House Method. "It also has four different Dohm noises (these are fan-based white noises that can be adjusted by tone and volume) included in the sound settings."
The House Method editors tested the Whish by cycling through its different sound options throughout the week and noting how it affected their work. Reynolds concluded, "the Marpac Whish is certainly a winner for helping us stay focused throughout the day. Not only did it boost productivity, but it kept us calm and in the zone."
The folks at Wired, meanwhile, pick the Dohm Classic for their ambient noise machine of choice. "If you can’t find peace and quiet, make your own. This palm-sized white-noise machine has a fan inside, which creates a soothing, old-school way to zone out. Twisting the shell covers and uncovers tiny holes to alter the tone and volume."