Monday, May 21, 2012

Headphones--the new walls

Cube farms are noisy. John Tierney wrote about this in the NYT.

Or they are too quiet—every syllable overheard.

People are clicking, clacking, yacking. Or hiding and whispering.

Some companies pipe in background noise or white noise.

Yet, people lack speech privacy—people can hear them, in other words.

One company experimented with a pink-noise system—a whooshing that sounds like ventilation but is pitched to cover human voices.

The workers freaked—no no no.

Ironically open office plans are supposed to encourage communication—now there is too much of it.

And it’s overheard—so people duck into broom closets.

Another office tried the sound of a burbling brook—people liked it but I wonder how many more times they went to the loo and not just to confer.

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