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Office noise and employee concentration: identifying causes of disruption and potential improvements

Banbury, S.P. and Berry, D.C. (2005) Office noise and employee concentration: identifying causes of disruption and potential improvements. Ergonomics, 48 (1). pp. 25-37. ISSN 0014-0139

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To link to this article DOI: 10.1080/00140130412331311390

Abstract/Summary

A field study assessed subjective reports of distraction from various office sounds among 88 employees at two sites. In addition, the study examined the amount of exposure the workers had to the noise in order to determine any evidence for habituation. Finally, respondents were asked how they would improve their environment ( with respect to noise), and to rate examples of improvements with regards to their job satisfaction and performance. Out of the sample, 99% reported that their concentration was impaired by various components of office noise, especially telephones left ringing at vacant desks and people talking in the background. No evidence for habituation to these sounds was found. These results are interpreted in the light of previous research regarding the effects of noise in offices and the 'irrelevant sound effect'.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Life Sciences > School of Psychology and Clinical Language Sciences
ID Code:14174
Uncontrolled Keywords:open-plan offices, noise, distraction, SHORT-TERM-MEMORY, IRRELEVANT SPEECH, CHANGING-STATE, AUDITORY, DISTRACTION, UNATTENDED SPEECH, WORKING MEMORY, HABITUATION, INFORMATION, LOCATION, MASKING

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