If your work environment makes you feel distracted or less productive you’re not alone. Because an office space has a lot of reflective hard surfaces such as drywall, tile, glass, desks, and counter tops, the space can become too reverberant making it hard to understand normal levels of speech.
To compound the problem, the trend towards open office spaces allow for better collaboration but presents speech privacy problems. If a co-worker can hear and discern conversations going on around him or her, they become distracted and unproductive. It also makes it difficult to protect sensitive private data from being overheard. Office spaces can also sometimes be plagued by noise sources such as mechanical rooms, rooftop HVAC systems, or outside traffic noise.