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Can't Concentrate? Hack Your Brain with White Noise for Work
Work Wellness

Can't Concentrate? Hack Your Brain with White Noise for Work

|May 31, 2024
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Do you find yourself trying to concentrate on a task but losing focus mid-way? This is common, especially among Gen Z individuals, who are said to have an attention span rivaling that of a goldfish. Fortunately, white noise for work can help with that. Plus, it even provides numerous mental health benefits.

In this article, we will go over the importance of staying focused at work and how white noise (WN) can help. Keep reading until the end, as we will show you how you can use sound notes effectively in the workplace.

Let's get started!

Why Staying Focused at Work Can Be So Difficult

According to Workplace Trends, the average worker spends 2.1 hours of their day distracted. Additionally, it only takes about 11 minutes into a task before their mind wanders and around 25 minutes to get back on track. That's a lot of time wasted.

There are many reasons why you might lose focus during work, some of which include the following:

  • Tiredness
  • Stress
  • Illness
  • Anxiety
  • Distraction
  • Lack of motivation

Why Staying Focused at Work Can Be So Difficult

With access to the internet and social media flooding with the latest information every day, it's easy to lose focus. If you're not motivated to work, you may end up spending too much time scrolling through useless content on your phone or computer. This can adversely impact your productivity, which is of the utmost importance to a company.

Whether you're exhausted or suffering from mental health problems, losing focus at the office can be detrimental to the business. That's why many people are exploring white noise for work concentration. What is it, and what is its importance in the workplace?

Simply put, white noise in offices refers to a type of broadband sound that closely resembles the static that you might hear on a TV or radio. It encompasses all audible frequencies, giving it a constant power spectral density.

Today, offices are expanding. As a business grows, so does the need to hire employees to handle the greater workload. However, most companies fail to increase their working spaces, which means more professionals are cramped in a building than ever before.

With the constant chatter of employees, printers whirring, and telephones ringing, it can be challenging to concentrate on your tasks. The disturbance may even reach uncomfortable levels, adversely impacting your productivity.

Imagine sitting in such a workplace. It can be hectic and unpleasant, but if you're listening to white noise, any additional sounds would add up to all of the others, which means you won't notice it.

why you might lose focus during work

Benefits of White Noise for Work

Some businesses explore soundproof focus room ideas, while others may provide noise-canceling headphones to help their employees in such a chaotic environment.

However, there is a better approach, and that is investing in white noise machines. What are they, and how do they work?

Emitting white noise in the workplace is a great way to help employees concentrate. These machines generate soundwaves that mask the disruptions in an environment, effectively drowning out the distractions. This allows the employee to complete their tasks without breaking concentration.

Now that you know what white noise is, here are some of the benefits of using it for work:

Better Focus

The keyboard taps, employees conversing, and construction work next door can make concentrating on your daily tasks next to impossible.

Fortunately, you can use white noise to focus better at work. It can drown out all distractions, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in your office tasks.

Professionals can also use white noise along with other focus-building strategies. We recommend checking out our guide on colors that help you focus to learn more about the complementary ways you can boost your concentration and achieve your professional goals.

Better Focus - White noise for work

Enhanced Creativity

You need peace of mind when brainstorming or coming up with creative ideas. With so much noise in the workplace, it can be challenging to think of innovative or out-of-the-box solutions. That can be a sticky situation for project managers and creative professionals.

Fortunately, you can use white noise for work productivity and also creativity. By masking out all of the distractions in your environment, WN machines can help generate ideas and assist in brainstorming.

Greater Privacy

Sometimes, workplace conversations can include sensitive information, which could have negative consequences for the company if leaked.

White noise machines in offices can provide greater privacy by emitting sound waves to mask discussions and meetings. This is beneficial not only for the professionals but also for the company.

Greater Privacy

Improved Cognitive Functions

According to a 2023 "White Noise and Its Potential Applications in Occupational Health: A Review" study, the results show that WN between 60 and 80 dB has a positive impact on a person's cognitive functions, such as short and long-term memory, recall, attention span, and semantic priming.

Increased Productivity

White noise for work concentration is a great way to focus on your tasks. By eliminating distractions, you can spend more time fulfilling your office responsibilities, leading to a higher level of productivity. It's a great way to achieve your professional goals without sacrificing comfort in the workplace.

It's important to understand that while WN can help hack your brain, it's most effective when used in combination with other effective strategies. Check out our guide on the nine best ways to create positive energy at work. This, in tandem with WN machines, can take your productivity to the next level and keep you motivated throughout the day.

Increased Productivity

Different Types of White Noise for Work

When we talk about the different types of white noise to focus better at work, we are referring to other kinds of sound notes that can have just as much of an impact on your daily routine as WN.

Here are the different colors of noise other than white noise:

Pink Noise

The color of noise depends on how energy is distributed across different frequencies. Pink noise (PN) consists of all sound waves, but their energy is not equally divided.

Due to its intensity at low frequencies, PN has a deep sound. Rustling leaves, gushing winds, and frantic heartbeats are all examples of pink noise. What's interesting is that it sounds flat to the human ear.

A 2017 Frontiers in Human Neuroscience research shows that PN can positively impact one's sleeping patterns, encouraging deep and stable sleep. This helps you wake up feeling refreshed and ready to conquer the workday.

Pink Noise

Brown Noise

Also known as red noise, brown noise (BN) displays greater intensity at lower frequencies, which is what gives it its deepness. Low roaring, strong waterfalls, and thunder are all examples of this.

While brown noise is much deeper than white noise, it sounds similar to the human ear. Although there isn't enough research into this, anecdotal evidence suggests that it can help induce relaxation.

Black Noise

When we talk about black noise, we are actually referring to the lack of noise or complete silence. While this can be difficult to achieve, there are products on the market that can help you zone out from all of the distractions and focus on the task at hand.

Black Noise

Finding the Right White Noise for You

The whirring of the fans, the static of a radio, and the humming of an air conditioner are all examples of white noise that you can listen to improve your focus and productivity.

However, some people might find pink noise, such as the calming waves hitting the shores or rain hitting the tree leaves as it pours, more helpful in concentrating or relaxing than WN.

Choosing the right type of white noise for work might involve a lot of math and science. It is also a subjective process, as some people might enjoy particular sounds while others may not find them relaxing.

We highly recommend playing around with different white noises to see what works for you. Pay close attention to how each sound makes you feel physically and mentally. Are you relaxed? Do you feel productive?

White noise, for example, is much more stimulating than PN, but the latter can encourage deep sleep and relaxation, which is critical to starting the day right.

Another thing to remember is that the shape and size of a room can also have an impact on how particular noises can make you feel. You may gravitate towards pink noise in certain spaces and prefer BN in other settings.

WN has inherent scientific characteristics. Take the time to experiment with different types of white noises to find out what works best for you.

During this self-exploration process, you might find our guide on the best free white noise website to be helpful. It has a list of sites that you can visit for an extensive library of sound notes, allowing you to find the right type of WN for your work concentration needs.

Finding the Right White Noise for You

How to Use White Noise Effectively at Work

While we've been rambling on about white noise and its impact on productivity and creativity levels in the workplace, you may be left confused about how to use WN effectively in your office. Don't worry, as we're here to help.

There are several ways you can use white noise at work, including the following:

High-quality Headphones

Headphones can help you use white noise effectively in the workplace. It improves concentration, and you don't have to worry about disturbing others.

Invest in high-quality headphones, as the type of materials used to create the speakers can also impact how particular white noises can make you feel.

High-quality Headphones

Office Sound Masking

These are concealed devices that are strategically placed throughout the office. While sound masking units don't cancel out background noise, they can make it less noticeable. They are great for workplaces with an open layout.

Personal White Noise Device

If your company doesn't have office sound masking units, you can always consider buying a personal white noise device for your workstation. Simply plug it in the electrical socket and drown out all the distracting sounds in your workplace as you start your daily tasks.

Ensure Consistency

Besides the different ways you can use white noise for work concentration, you must ensure consistency if you want the best results. Incorporate it into your daily routine to help you maintain focus and productivity.

Play with Different Noises

During the experimentation stages, you can always write down how each type of noise makes you feel. This allows you to create a plan around your daily routine, allowing you to hear the right kind of sound notes throughout the day.

White noise, for example, can be perfect for eliminating the chatter in the office, while PN may make you feel energized. Alternate between different types of noises to help with your work and sleep.

Play with Different Noises

Complement White Noise with Other Techniques or Products

You can also improve your concentration in the workplace by investing in products, such as a standing desk and an active chair.

By changing between sitting and standing positions throughout the day, you're choosing to move away from a sedentary lifestyle and the medical problems that come with it. This will keep you physically and mentally active, helping improve focus and concentration during the workday.

Harnessing the power of white noise might seem a lot more challenging than it really is. You just have to find that sweet spot that helps create a more conducive work environment while optimizing your productivity.

   Complement White Noise with Other Techniques or Products

Final Thoughts on White Noise in the Workplace

While some people believe that white noise is just another fad, others have found it to improve their daily lives. Plus, there is some scientific and anecdotal evidence of the numerous benefits it offers, such as better focus, improved productivity, and increased creativity.

However, there are different kinds of white noise, and the type of environment you're in or the speaker that you're using can alter the effects of the sound. Fortunately, finding the right white noise is simple - all you need to do is experiment and play around.

That said, WN can be a powerful tool in the workplace, especially if it is complemented with other strategies or products, such as an ergonomic office chair and standing table.

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