It may be common sense to you, but your cube neighbor with the changed-weekly-top-40 cell phone ringer may believe he is enriching your world.

FMLink’s Facilities Management News posted this guide today, from Cambridge Sound Management’s white paper. To see the full text, complete with detailed tips, read the FMLink article here, or download the white paper from the Cambridge website.

  1. Never use a speakerphone. Duh!
  2. Develop a softer telephone voice. Did you know your telephone may have a “sidetone” adjustment? It controls how loudly you hear your own voice, which effects how loudly you speak.
  3. Adjust telephone ring loudness.
  4. Set cell phones and pagers to minimum ring volume, or better still, vibrate mode.
  5. Take cell phones to a break room or other private space if a call is likely to be protracted.
  6. Listen to any music over headphones, not loudspeakers. And don’t hum. Like I do.
  7. Use Instant Messaging.
  8. Don’t make unnecessary noise in the office. Are you a gum-cracker? a coffee-slurper?

Cambridge Sound Management produces and installs sound masking technology. Nice! On their website, I saw case studies for some tough (read cavernous, brick- or stone-walled, and other acoustic nightmares) work spaces. Can they please do something for urban apartments?


3 Responses to Eight little tips for acoustical etiquette in open-plan offices

  1. Penina says:

    Wow! I wouldn’t have dared use voice recognition in that environment… but I am gradually learning to control my volume levels.

  2. Elizabeth says:

    I went from a noisy open plan to an almost silent open plan, which means I had to stop using voice recognition software. When I have used it, colleagues said it was no more distracting than being on the phone, and I developed a really quiet dictating voice!

  3. Courtney says:

    I would add to #7 — And don’t laugh out loud in response to the IM. Like I do 😉

Set your Twitter account name in your settings to use the TwitterBar Section.