Why ambient sounds increase productivity
In today’s world of open offices, working from home or a coffee shop, the one thing that has become increasingly difficult to have is productivity. A study by Cambridge Sound Management showed that 48% of people working in an office are distracted by speech. Another research by University of Michigan showed that chronic noise in the workplace increased blood pressure and heart rate.
Why ambient noise
As it turns out, the brain responds in different ways to different sounds depending on the task at hand. While music in general can be a source of relaxation for repetitive and monotonous tasks, speech (or lyrics by extension) by itself can be a distraction when the task requires extra focus and attention. This however is not a rule, but a majority estimate from statistics. For creative work or one that requires an increased level of attention and focus, having background sounds with predictable and constant beats without any lyrics has been proved to be helpful.
Effects of background sounds
Having a level sound background sound drowns out distractions. It is almost like a cut-off of everything around, until a certain loudness level. No longer are individual voices audible to you, nor the constant typing away on keyboards. As humans, we intuitively tend to get distracted from other’s voices, a sudden cling of cups, or those colleagues at the water cooler chatting away. Drowning them away helps our mind by having to concentrate on fewer things.
Background sounds with constant and repetitive beats also help calm down the mind. Having a jazzy number playing in your ears might just keep drawing your attention to the changing tunes, the beats and the lyrics. Although, this might vary from person to person, the perception is from statistics collected from a larger audience group.
Having a soothing sound without lyrics and repetitive beats helps calm down the mind. With lesser things to focus on, and in a calm state, the human mind is capable of concentrating better and focussing harder on the task at hand.
Then there is the factor of being startled. Imagine working in a quiet office where you are writing away your thoughts on your work-desk. Suddenly your colleague’s phone rings up. Research has shown that such incidents are not common and has often led to increased heartbeats, severe distractions and in some cases minor accidents like falling off the chair.
What kind of background sounds are we talking of?
- Well, there is the coffee house. The constant murmur of people around rumbles down to a constant “hmm” which acts as a natural background noise. No wonder many of us like to work from coffee shops.
- Streaming background sounds from online platforms like Youtube, Spotify, Gaana and the likes. Some of these sources also stream sounds that imitate ambience like a coffee shop, etc.
- The Somnos Project. We are working on creating a portfolio of products (including a free to use app) which are focussed on helping people focus harder, relax and sleep better. If you are interested in knowing more about us, or want to gain early access to our products, do let us know in the form below.