ESP’s lease with the 701 building is up next year, and this time around it means we’re moving. While there is some excitement about a new location, we’ll be sad to leave this home of over 20 years. As we’ve started the process of looking for a new downtown location and space planning for those locations, we’ve become aware of a number of office space trends and begun some careful thinking on which trends we want to follow and which we want to ignore.
White Noise: One of the first concerns is how to soundproof for noise in a new space. Although, noise can be a problem in any work place, it is a particular concern for ESP as we spend a lot time on the phone with our clients, consultants, and candidates. This can obviously be distracting. One proposed solution is white noise machines. White noise can block out the sound of typing and other small annoying sounds when things are quiet, and dull the impact of conversations/phone calls. But is it just replacing one distraction with another? Some studies have shown white noise machines to be a distraction in itself—stop that incessant buzzing!—and even to cause stress and have negative effects on the brain. Do white noise machines really increase productivity?