Is Your Office Too Quiet?

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

If you think your office is too loud — e-mails pinging, elevators dinging, coffee slurping — it's actually probably too quiet. The trend in green building has made heating and cooling systems so efficient they've created another problem: silence. "It's so quiet you can hear a pin drop in some places," says David Sykes, who deals with acoustics issues for the American National Standards Institute. "That's too quiet." Studies link optimal noise — around 47 decibels — to productivity, and some are pushing for federal guidelines for "acoustical comfort." "A minimum amount of background noise is not only advisable but necessary," Sykes says. "But if it's quieter than that, people complain about it being noisy." Well, there's an app for that: Plug in an iPod to the ceiling pager system and play a track that sounds like air moving. The white noise might make you more comfortable in other ways, Sykes says: "If you turn it off, people start complaining about being too hot."

Culture
Share
What's New on Netflix in June
Culture
Share
4 Women with 4 Very Different Incomes Open Up About the Lives They Can Afford
Tormund and Brienne on Game of Thrones
Culture
Share
Gwendoline Christie Breaks Her Silence About That Flirting on 'Game of Thrones'
Culture
Share
Watch This Tap Dancing Group's Flawless Tribute to Prince
Finding Dory
Culture
Share
Get Excited: Disney Movies Are Coming to Netflix
GIF
Culture
Share
Hero Woman Gets Back at Cheating Ex by Spoiling 'Game of Thrones' Every Monday Morning
Culture
Share
Meet This Year's (Totally Badass) Top Female Surfer
Game of Thrones Hodor
Culture
Share
The 'Game of Thrones' Cast Is Weighing In on Last Night's Heart-Wrenching Moment
Culture
Share
Your Monthly App Roundup: We Test All the New Ones So You Don't Have To
GIF
Culture
Share
Equal-Opportunity Ogling: 'Game of Thrones' Finally Showed Its First Penis