Case Studies of a Method for Predicting Speech Privacy in the Contemporary Workplace

Charles Salter , Kevin Powell , Durand Begault , Robert Alvarado

New Zealand Acoustics, 16(3), pp.15- 29 . (2003).

In surveys of office environments that measure occupants’ satisfaction with their workspace, the intrusion of unwanted sound— noise—vies with temperature as the leading source of dissatisfaction (Harris, 1978, 1991, Sundstrom, 1994, Brill, 2001). Recent research by the Center for the Built Environment supports this finding, with more than 40% of employees responding to CBE’s occupant satisfaction survey reporting that workplace acoustics make it harder for them to do their job (CBE, 2001). Moreover, an elevated level of workplace noise has been shown to increase stress, decrease motivation and is associated with risk factors for musculoskeletal disorder (Evans, 2000) .