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Managing Noise: In the Open Office

The move to open-plan offices has ushered in a new era of improved collaboration and communication as well as huge cost-savings through reduced real estate overhead. But while businesses applaud the move, employees struggle with a new workplace reality that came as a result: noise. It begins as collaboration begins, with people converging and openly exchanging information and ideas. And it’s intensified through the environment itself — via hard and reflective surfaces that amplify sound. But it’s not about open office noise so much as it’s about how it distracts your teams and affects workplace experience and productivity.

Noise is the largest distraction complaint among office workers.1 With 53% of employees pointing to its effect on reduced productivity,2 and 17% of employees say noise in their office is detrimental to their wellness leading to employee absenteeism,3 the impact on business performance can be substantial. It disrupts an employee’s ability to focus and communicate, which reduces their performance and, ultimately, your profitability. That’s why an effective noise strategy for the open office is essential.

Noise-canceling Solutions 

Purpose-built and office proven

Featured open office product

Voyager 8200 UC

Thanks to active noise-canceling, Voyager 8200 UC lets you leave office noise and distractions behind so you can concentrate when you need to.

Best for:

  • The Office Collaborator
  • The Office Warrior
  • The Connected Executive

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Hear the Difference

Compare the sound quality of a Plantronics headset with a common alternative device in an open office environment.

Other open office products

Voyager Focus UC

Focus on work, not the chaos around you. Voyager Focus UC provides a more immersive experience with on-demand active noise-canceling technology.

Best for:

  • The Office Collaborator
  • The Office Warrior
  • The Connected Executive

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Habitat Soundscaping Service

Transform your open office into something truly inspiring with the Habitat Soundscaping service. Create an intelligent multisensory experience that uses natural sounds and complementary visuals to dynamically adapt to the ever-changing noise and distracting speech in your workplace. The result is an environment that fosters personal concentration and team collaboration, satisfies your team’s innate desire to feel closer to nature, and helps relieve workplace fatigue and stress. Your open office becomes a space where your team wants to work, leaving them feeling energized and ready to think bigger, and more freely. Bring the benefits of nature into the workplace with Habitat Soundscaping — and bring out the best in everyone.

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Plantronics Manager Pro*

Businesses are under increasing pressure to trim operating budgets while enhancing productivity. Adding a software solution that monitors, manages and maintains your headsets wherever your employees work can help. Plantronics Manager Pro allows you to check device usage to verify adoption rates, drive the adoption of third-party services and prevent and troubleshoot technical issues. Plantronics Manager Pro’s easy-to-use tools and analysis suites enable you to proactively manage the performance of every Plantronics headset across your enterprise.

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* Software-as-a-Service sold separately.

Explore the open office Product Guide

1Plantronics Persona Research, 2017.
2Plantronics Noise in the Workplace Global Study, 2017.
3Oxford Economics, “When the Walls Come Down – The Evolution of the Workplace.”