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NOTEBOOK – ONE GOOD READ: Could your office use some ‘sonic ambience’?


Working on a hybrid schedule, many folks may find their office, whether that’s at home or at their workplace, a bit quieter these days — perhaps too quiet. Here’s an intriguing piece from Fast Company that looks at what some innovative companies are working on to develop this often neglected aspect of the workplace. Here’s the lead paragraph of this four-minute read by Elissavetta Brandon that grabbed my attention: “I’m on the 20th floor of an office building on Wall Street. One of the offices inside is equipped with about a dozen speakers, some sitting on plinths, others mounted on the ceiling. Aric Marshall, of audio software company Spatial, is leading a demonstration of a new soundscape designed for the workplace. Holding his phone, he says, “Just listen,” and touches the screen. I ready myself to hear the soundscape come out through the speakers, but just the opposite happens. The sound I hadn’t processed turns off, plunging the room in a cold, uncomfortable, almost metallic silence. Without me realizing it, a soundscape had been playing all along — in this case, a muted, almost imperceptible pitter-patter of rain falling on the roof of a wooden cabin — coating the concrete office with a sort of soft, sonic balm.”

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