If you’re reading this in your office, how much noise are you hearing? Even if you’re not currently at work, can you imagine being there, and what sounds you would be hearing?
Modern workplaces can be noisy, and noise can be distracting. We’ve written before about Office Noise and ways in which to reduce it but were intrigued by a report that advocates silence for better concentration and productivity.
Two separate studies in 2013 found that the brain is always active, even when resting, and that the part of the brain that helps memories form can be prompted to increase cell development when allowed two hours of silence a day.
Noise has been shown to cause elevated levels of stress, whereas silence has the opposite effect. In our work spaces we are often bombarded with noise – people talking, printers printing, phones ringing – and finding a quiet space let alone a place of silence can seem impossible.
If the studies and the reports are correct though, ensuring that your office design incorporates spaces for employees to find a refuge from noise could help your businesses’ profitability and increase the productivity of your workforce. There are some stunning designs for individual and group work pods that could provide this space and as many are mobile, they can be incorporated into most current set ups.
A study published in Heart journal found that a mere 2 minutes of silence proved to be even more calming than listening to “relaxing” music, so let’s all find a place to turn off the noise and take time out to refocus on our work at hand. As the saying goes, silence really is golden.