⇠ Back to News

Moodsonic wins Work Design Magazine's "Next Environment" Return to Office award

Elevance Health workplace interior with soundscape sound waves in the background

Moodsonic is delighted to have won Work Design Magazine’s Return to office award, which was awarded as part of their Next Environment awards for products that defines the path forward for the future of work.

This article was originally published in Work Design magazine. Click here to view the original piece

Moodsonic worked with Elevance Health, formerly Anthem, a Fortune 50 healthcare company, to implement a sensory, experiential return to office strategy.

Moodsonic addresses a pervasive problem: sound is often the biggest complaint about workplaces. It affects employees’ ability to concentrate, to be productive, creative, and generally feel well. And it continues to be a big issue in workplaces post-pandemic.

While working from home, many employees realised just how poorly their offices perform on a sensory level. Unlike before the pandemic, they can now choose to stay away.

This project aimed to use sound to create inviting sensory experiences across Elevance’s fourteen-storey Atlanta workplace that would improve wellbeing and performance, give employees control and ultimately offer quality experiences that surpass WFH.

Historical approaches to problematic workplace sound have been negative; reduce the volume here, eliminate noise there. Moodsonic is a positive tool that uses science and technology to optimize the soundscape indoors.

Moodsonic is biophilic design for the ears. Research shows that biophilic soundscapes can reduce the distracting impact of noise and promote focus even better than silence. They can decrease symptoms of stress, like tension and heart-rate. They can improve feelings of happiness, safety and security. They can encourage creative thinking. And just like lighting, they can even cue our bodies’ circadian rhythms.

The soundscapes are generated using algorithms that mirror the organicness of natural environments. And, as the indoor environment changes, the soundscapes can respond in real-time based on sensors.

Moodsonic began working with Elevance Health pre-pandemic. We initially implemented a strategy across their workplace which prioritized better focussed work.

Then, in response to the pandemic, Elevance overhauled their workplace, moving to a hybrid model. Collaboration, connection and flexibility took center stage at the office.

Despite the big strategic changes, the soundscapes were easily reconfigured from zone to zone. A mix of more varied soundscapes, particularly those designed for ideation, were seamlessly introduced to support the needs and distinguish the functionality of each space.

“Our midtown Atlanta campus now has hundreds of audio zones with soundscapes dedicated for collaboration, focused work, small team activities, relaxation and social activities. This gives our associates the freedom to move between different environments with differing multi-sensory zoning to find the space that’s best for them at any given time,” explained Tim Bright, Director of Corporate Real Estate at Elevance Health.

The soundscapes’ characteristics vary across zones and time of day to support different types of people, working styles and activities. Employees can either navigate intuitively to a space that supports them or use a dedicated web application to find out about the options available to them.

“We aimed to create a refined, energetic, welcoming, and restorative workplace that supports the intentionality behind why and how employees use our office space,” said Tim. “Employees have commented on how the space supports both collaborative and focused work, as well as how welcoming and restorative the office now is.”

The initiative has been so successful that Elevance is rolling it out across their most high-profile offices.

Sign up for our newsletter

Keep up to date with our work, training and research.