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Noise is an obstacle to working perfomance.

The noise in the office in a serious problem. A research commissioned by Plantronics in the UK, France and Germany, revealed that office noise has an adverse effect on office workers and the quality of their work (UK 89.9%; Germany 96.5%; France 93.5%). The findings highlight also the growing difficulty for office environments to keep noise distractions at bay and for employees to focus on work.

Today’s office environments are showing serious noise challenges for individuals and their colleagues, undermining productivity gains. On a survey of more than 1000 companies per country with more then 250 workers, the majority of the employees listed decreased productivity as a common effect of noise and believe they would be a lot more productive in a less noisy environment (UK 54.1%; Germany 65.1%; France 65.5%). An oversight of noise at work issues could potentially cost a UK organization nearly £15,000 per year in lost productivity per senior manager employed. Disruptive noise in an open office environment can manifest itself into stress and physical ailments, such as headaches and migraines, and both were listed amongst chief complaints across all countries. Three quarters of workers in all regions reported that their company has taken no action to address their noise issues or the actions have failed.

The smart working’s noise pollution.
The dynamics of the office workplace are constantly evolving.
As flexible working grows in popularity, office design has also radically changed with open plan office environments becoming the norm and less people working from a traditional fixed desk. This new way of work can create serious acoustic difficulties without the correct soundscaping measures. As a result, office workers in Germany, UK and France all listed noisy colleagues as the biggest noise complaint in their office environment.
“Acoustics play a huge role in the contentment and productivity of a workforce,” says Philip Vanhoutte, Senior Vice President and Managing Director Europe and Africa, Plantronics. “In today’s environment, it is extremely important for companies to understand how sound affects its bottom line and to take appropriate action to soundscape their workplace. We are passionate about ensuring workers have the right solutions necessary for a high-quality communication experience. No matter if work is being done in an traditional open plan office, an airport, coffee shop or at home.”

Plantronic’s headset solutions for noisy environments.
Survey results showed the truth of the matter with telephone calls unanimously coming in as the toughest task to complete in a noisy environment.
Plantronics tried to answer to this problem with four new products.
These new offerings are comprised of the Blackwire 725, the company’s first UC stereo headset with Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) for those people who want to stay focused in noisy office environments; the Voyager Edge UC, the latest product in the Voyager family of Bluetooth headsets aimed at workers constantly on the road; the Calisto 610, a portable speakerphone for instant anywhere conferencing, and the Clarity 340, designed for those who face vision, hearing, or dexterity challenges.
Text by Gabriele Masi.

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