Intrusive sounds in the workplace elevate stress and detract from productivity. And in many professional environments, such as healthcare, conversations must comply with privacy regulations. Amid these challenges, you also need to know your workforce receives notifications and emergency alerts.
Having the right levels of sound masking and the ability for mass notifications and paging can be attained with readily available workplace technology.
Deciding what solutions best meet your needs requires careful considerations.
Let’s look at each solution separately…
As defined well in Wikipedia, “Sound Masking is the addition of sound created by special digital generators and distributed by normally unseen speakers through an area to reduce distractions or provide confidentiality where needed.”
Throughout any workday, there are a variety of sounds that intrude on open, closed and common areas in your workspace environment. Because most of the surfaces within those areas are somewhat rigid, they can’t adapt to the changing levels of intrusive sound. Sound masking adjusts to these variable levels from one area to the next to create a sense of balance and harmony.
In addition to providing a less stressful experience for your workforce, sound masking provides privacy by limiting the degree conversations can be overheard from one area to another.
Sound masking systems can also integrate music and paging functionality into your workspace.
Sound masking is used in commercial facilities, closed offices, open offices, healthcare facilities, and workplace environments where privacy and security are required.
For a sound masking system to be effective, there are many considerations to keep in mind. Your system will need to be adaptable to the multiple sound levels, space variables, surfaces, and other factors that are unique to your environment. In addition, your sound masking solution must work within your budget restrictions and code compliance requirements.
Mass Notification System (MNS)
An MNS for the workplace sends one-way alerts to inform employees in the case of an emergency.
According to an article in TechTarget: The National Fire Protection Association’s National Fire Alarm and Signaling Code (NFPA 72) provides general guidelines on planning, designing and implementing an MNS that is activated when a fire alarm sounds. Among the code’s mass notification system recommendations are that a risk analysis should consider the following types of potential emergencies:
- Geological events
- Meteorological events
- Biological events
- Accidental human-caused events
- Intentional human-caused events
- Technological events
Intercoms and Paging Solutions
An accurate definition in Buildings.com is as follows: “Intercoms and paging solutions provide instant, location-based communication to another individual or distributed group for purposes ranging from informational to security and emergency notification. Internet protocol-based (IP-based) intercom and paging-system technology are more easily deployed, cost-effective, and flexible in use and design than traditional hard-wired systems.”
An IP-based paging and intercom system provides easier and more efficient management across individual facilities or multiple locations. Different locations can each be maintained locally during work hours and managed by a central control room after hours.
Are you are interested in learning more about sound masking, mass notification, and paging solutions for your workplace?
Ask ASD. We’re here to help you become more confident in your workplace technology.
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