They promote teamwork, leave workers feeling less lonely, take advantage of natural light—no wonder open office plans are gaining in popularity in offices everywhere. For all their benefits, though, they do bring with them one key issue: noise.

Indeed, when one is trying to have a group huddle on one side of the room, for instance, it can be next to impossible to keep the conversation constrained to that group and not distract other workers. We’ve covered open office plans on our sound masking blog before, but solely in the context of comfort—not of speech privacy. Below, we’ll drop a few tips on how to make sure private conversations stay as such in an open office plan.

Sound Masking: The No-Brainer Solution

Just like with open office plans, businesses everywhere are turning to sound masking systems for privacy help—and your office should be no exception. By playing sounds that mimic human speech, sound masking decreases the intelligibility of faraway conversations while maintaining it in a face-to-face context. Learn more about sound management systems and the science behind them on our blog!

When it comes to open office plans, there is little you can do from a physical standpoint to cut down on sound (though that doesn’t mean nothing, as you’ll see in a minute). Sound management systems thus must serve as your bread and butter in terms of privacy promotion.

Embrace Solid Acoustical Design

Sound masking and its privacy-boosting benefits can be made to work in any space. That being said, if you intend to maximize the privacy of your open-office plan, you’d be smart to also look into how you can physically and additionally handle sound.

Armstrong Ceilings, a company that manufactures ceilings and walls and thus also has an interest in speech privacy, has created a systematic method for handling issues in this department. Open office plans, the company says, can benefit from sound-absorbing ceilings, as “the main function of the ceiling is to absorb sound that would normally bounce off the ceiling into a nearby space or cubicle.”

Create Quiet Locations

If space allows, making a separate room for private meetings can also aid in sound management. Not only does it allow for a bit of “breathing room” for more introverted workers when things get too noisy, but it also can prevent confidential information from spilling out during important meetings.

Building Systems Solutions: Personalized Sound Management Services

Looking for a sound masking company that truly cares about your business’s success? You’ve found it. Reach our Blaine office at 763-502-1515.