Comparison study of three Speech Masking Sounds on Employees Task Performance in Open-Plan Office environments.

Eleni Tavelidou, Christopher Barlow, Jian Jiang

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Published conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

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    This pilot study aims to investigate the impacts of three speech masking sounds (water stream, pink noise, instrumental music) on occupants' performance as well as to draw conclusions about potential correlations between the actual performance and the perceived disruption by nearby speech, efficiency of each masking sound and stress. Ten participants were tested under four different noise conditions, three of which included the aforementioned masking sounds and one unmasked background speech. Typical office sounds were also added to the background to resemble the audible environment of an open-plan office (OPO). A five-minute short-term memory test, which for subjective evaluations were conducted in this within-subject design study. The results indicated
    that there was no main effect of sound condition to the participants performance or subjective responses. However, two evaluations of marginal statistical significance were identified with regard to the efficiency of the masking sound during pink noise and instrumental music as well as the perceived stress during unmasked speech and instrumental music. Although further investigations
    are still required, this pilot study has already highlighted the potential impact of different masking sounds on performance
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationProceedings of Euronoise 2018
    Publication statusPublished - May 2018


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