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Sound Masking for Call Centres

The Call Centre Challenge: Maximize worker density while maintaining productivity and privacy

Open floor plans are commonplace in call centres. These layouts allow facility managers to maximize their existing space while keeping construction costs to a minimum. Call center workstations are typically small, arranged in 1.22m x 1.22m sections with short partitions.

This translates into a space with a lack of acoustic blocking and absorption, creating an environment full of distractions and privacy concerns. In their presentation at a recent ICBEN conference, Drs. Valtteri Hongisto and Annu Haapakangas presented the results from their acoustic environment and work performance survey.

The survey included 689 employees from 11 companies ranging from customer service call centres to general open offices. 48% of respondents reported speech as the most disturbing source of noise.1 In addition, the survey found that employees on average wasted 21.5 minutes per day due to noise distractions.

Call centres in the healthcare, financial and legal industries have an additional obligation to maintain client confidentiality. In addition to noise canceling headsets and other acoustic treatments, call centers have a need for employing sound masking technology to meet their obligation of providing their clients privacy