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Soundscapes for flexible workplace design

📅  This article is more than 2 years old. Please contact us for the latest insights and research on this topic.
Learn about the role of soundscapes in flexible workplace design, offering adaptable sound environments that support dynamic work styles and boost productivity.

Soundscaping allows your building to operate fluidly and make best use of available space.

Buildings have become increasingly multipurpose, flexible, and digitally aware. For example, global demand for flexible workspaces increased 50% from 2014-2019.1

Intelligent, reactive soundscapes

Traditional sound masking has remained “relatively unchanged” for decades2 and typically operates at a fixed or scheduled level. Those that do react to noise levels can only adjust output levels up and down, rather than altering the qualities and content of their sound.

Moodsonic's soundscaping systemcan react to any kind of digital input–like temperature, noise levels, or wellbeing metrics–and vary the precise characteristics of its content, live, to create a seamlessly optimised experience.

User control

Designers should always consider user control when it comes to sound. In one study, distraction was most strongly related to degree of self-control of the noise in a building.3 Perceived lack of control is linked to intrusiveness and may cause annoyance, frustration, irritation, and stress.4

Employees in smaller neighbourhood spaces can benefit from direct control of their soundscapes as their immediate needs change. Moodsonic offers a web-based user interface as standard, which can also be accessed on a laptop, smartphone, or a wall-mounted touchpad.

Zonal designs

Zonal, multi-purpose spaces are now commonplace in many types of buildings. 70% of Americans work in open-concept offices,5 while open-plan schools are on the rise.6

Moodsonic’s content can be programmed across audio zones to generate productive sound in every area.



1. Instant Offices (2019) Flexible Workspace Trends – 2019 and Beyond.

2. DeLoach, A. G., Carter, J. P., & Braasch, J. (2015). Tuning the cognitive environment: Sound masking with “natural” sounds in open-plan offices. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 137, 2291.

3. Kjellberg, A., Landström, U., Tesarz, M., Söderberg, L., & Åkerlund, E. (1996). The effects of nonphysical noise characteristics, ongoing task and noise sensitivity on annoyance and distraction due to noise at work. Journal of Environmental Psychology.

4. Neben, T., & Schneider, C. (2015). Ad intrusiveness, loss of control, and stress: A psychophysiological study. 2015 International Conference on Information Systems: Exploring the Information Frontier, ICIS.

5. International Facility Management Association (IFMA). (2010). Space and Project Management Benchmarks Research Report 34.

6. Shield, B., Greenland, E., Dockrell, J. (2010) Noise in Open Plan Classrooms in Primary Schools: A Review. Noise Health, 12(49), 225-34.







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