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
Here's What Weddings Looked Like the Year You Were Born
​Let's embark on a 100-year journey through the history of nuptials, shall we?​
Culture
Share
Why "Treating Yourself" Is Such an American Idea
As the daughter of immigrants, I thought self-care was a luxury only rich families could afford.​
Culture
Share
What's New on Netflix in May
What is productivity, anyways?
Culture
Share
Kesha Drops a Powerful New Track with Zedd, Makes Us Feel All the Feels
"This is more than a song. It's a declaration of my truth​."​​
Culture
Share
Stop Everything and Listen to Rihanna and Calvin Harris' New Heart-Stopping Club Banger
⚡️​⚡️​​
GIF
Culture
Share
Kanye West Liked Aziz Ansari's "Famous" Spoof So Much He Made It the Official Video
​​Classic Kanye.​
Culture
Share
This Quadriplegic Woman Has Spent $15,000 to Look Like Barbie
She wants to show other paralyzed women that their disabilities shouldn't prevent them from living out their dreams.​
Culture
Share
7 Wedding Traditions That Have Disappeared Over the Past Century
For most modern wedding guests, a "traditional" American wedding would be totally unrecognizable. ​
Culture
Share
The Death of the Cheesy Rom-Com
True-to-life love stories replaced fairytale cliché​s at this year's Tribeca Film Festival.​
Culture
Share
Why I Refuse to Get Botox
Actress Amanda Peet opens up about being afraid to look like a science project.​
Marie Claire + Lenny