Workplace noise is a potential cause of stress – First Look

The modern open-office environment is the current fashion in office design, maybe for the cost-effectiveness of putting up cubicles instead of walls, but also because it may be conducive to the team concept many organizations have adopted. Dr. Jack Heine, CEO of Cambridge Sound Management said, “Whatever the impetus, more and more of these open offices are being built, which means there are more and more distractions and potential health hazards keeping workers from producing at their most efficient level.” Cambridge Sound cites a Cornell University study finding that working in a moderately noisy office with ringing telephones, nearby conversations, office equipment whirring, and drawers opening and closing may lead to heart disease from heart-damaging stress hormones becoming elevated on a regular basis.

Cambridge Sound developed the Sonet Acoustic Privacy System, a portable system designed to effectively mask distracting noise and stress in the workplace. The system works by blanketing an individual’s workspace with unobtrusive, natural sound that reduces the intelligibility of nearby conversations and other sounds. Sonnet is designed for an individual user and has small components that include two tiny emitters to create a gentle whooshing sound similar to air conditioning that fades into the background as it masks unwanted noise. Sonnet is based on Qt quiet technology and is quick and easy to install and personalize to the user. The system consists of the sound emitters and a sound generator/volume control unit. Adhesive-backed VELCRO brand fastener pads make installation simple and allow units to be easily moved.

COPYRIGHT 2001 Quality Publishing

COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group

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