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The noisier the environment, the harder it is to concentrate on the sounds we really want –and need– to hear. We spends about 90% of its time indoors, either at home or at work, often with little concern for acoustic qualities, making our body remain in a constant warning state. In offices this is an even more critical issue. While traditional open plan working spaces encourage teamwork and effective communication, many professionals face the challenge of being able to concentrate with the frequent noises, whether from a nearby conversation, the construction site next door, or a noisy espresso machine. Among the problems that noise pollution can cause in the human body are stress, accelerated heartbeat, increased blood pressure, insomnia, and a constant state of vigilance. Studies also show that poor acoustics negatively affect productivity.
This can be further amplified by the environment itself, often composed of “hard” surfaces (masonry, concrete, glass) that reverberate sound several times over, making it necessary for people to raise their voices to be understood. Furthermore, acoustic devices are generally perceived as accessories that are not very aesthetically pleasing, often with clumsy designs and with little or no flexibility.