Flex Space Makes Sense


What does the return to office strategy look like for you and your team? Flexibility is an element many occupants and investors must consider.

Co-working is an excellent solution for solo professionals and small teams. Flex space allows occupants to work where they want, when they want, and how they want. If there is a certain percentage of an investor’s building available for flex space functionality, current tenants can make use of this space for varied needs as they arise.

Flex space can also serve to hold anchor tenants that are transitioning back to the “version 2.0 of at the office”. The Monday thru Friday 9 to 5 group may now have evolved to the Tuesday thru Thursday group. Mondays and Fridays are now dedicated to heads down work with a few on-line meetings.

How Can Sound Masking Help?

The first rule of sound masking is that the masking noise generated is delivered at the ear of the unintended listener. A productive, flexible space should include masking throughout the workplace to ensure privacy and comfort for all employees. A common example is that a multi-use space may be used by marketing to conceptualize and execute creative for tradeshows, and then the same space may be used for a team of remote partners attending orientation and testing.

With a professionally designed sound masking system in place, building occupants can easily work within a flexible environment to suit their specific needs. Enhanced speech privacy, reduced distractions, and increased occupant comfort all lead to improved productivity.

With nearly 1 billion square foot of commercial office space coming into the marketplace in the next three years, now is the time to make sure investors are offering space to occupants that are becoming accustomed to a new way of working.


Since we need confidentiality and privacy, we know that the ABC’ s of office acoustics will need to play a role in the overall solution. A=Absorption of sound, B= Blocking sound, and C=Covering sound. That is what sound masking does: it covers speech and distracting noises.

With new buildings and those undergoing tenant improvements, the effort to harvest natural light has all but eliminated the blocking of sound by walls and partitions. Absorptive wall coverings have fewer walls upon which to hang. The slick look of polished concrete floors eliminates the absorption of sound that carpet can offer.

Enter sound masking: or the introduction of a low-level, unobtrusive background sound that is not unlike the low level of flow of air though the HVAC system. Sound masking speakers are installed in a grid pattern, similar to lights, to distribute this comforting blanket of sound that will offer enhanced privacy and decrease distractions.

How does one measure privacy? The percentage of words not understood is the Privacy Index (PI). I you can understand 50% of what another is saying, you can probably understand it all. But if you can only understand 20% of what they’re saying, you will not “get” any of it.

AtlasIED offers sound masking solutions for all building types and client needs. Our system designers start with a goal of no less than 80% privacy index.

Most sound masking systems are installed above the drop tile ceiling. The latest additions to our SHS series enable direct field, down-firing installation when this makes best sense. Another highly effective solution employs our systems underneath raised floors.

How About CAB?

The “C” should be the engine and “B” the caboose.

Our design priority makes best sense to start with sound masking as a baseline, giving us a predictable background sound level, then allowing us to add the proper absorption and blocking as needed.

When we know that we are covered by sound masking, the gaps under the doors, the space above the demountable walls, and the ductwork are less of a concern that will yield significant savings on construction materials and design. An AtlasIED sound masking solution will eliminate the expense of solving post-occupancy privacy problems.

AtlasIED has a solution for every space. Our design team works with certified installers to make our solution an easy choice if given the opportunity.

For other sound masking related blog articles, CLICK HERE.