It’s easy to think about how many distractions a “normal” office has- one in which business casual-clad workers file in and out from 9-5, typing at their computers. It’s no wonder that the average worker is interrupted more than 70 times a day and takes more than 3 minutes to get focused again, leaving him/her distracted more than 2 hours every workday. Many of us have worked in or at least seen the dynamics of such an office.
Churches and other places of worship are immune to that kind of distraction…right? While most church/ministry workers would like to say that serving in a place of worship is completely different than running a business, the two do have at least one common factor- noise problems. Whether it’s overheard confidential conversations or just typical run of the mill office gossip, churches are not impervious to business problems.
5 common scenes from the typical church/synagogue
Scene 1: A mother seeks counseling with her minister about her struggling relationship with her daughter. Unfortunately, her daughter also attends this church and would be embarrassed if this conversation was overheard by her friends or their parents passing through.
Scene 2: An adult class is trying to listen to their teacher, but can’t help losing focus as the rowdy junior higher next door gets out of hand.
Scene 3: The nursery is next to the sanctuary and the worship music continually disturbs or awakens the sleeping babies.
Scene 4: A young mother desperate to connect with other adults finds that she can’t talk in her classroom because the nursery is next door and her son cries when he hears her voice.
Scene 5: A minister takes a serious and personal phone call in the midst of several other staffers. Without meaning to, they overhear a conversation that was intended to be private.
Each scene comes out of the play that takes place within the walls of a church.
Sound Masking to reduce distractions and provide confidentiality
It’s important to take all necessary precautions for appropriate confidentiality. For best results, a combination of the ABCs of sound coverage is essential. As such, when looking for sound coverage options for your facility, you might consider the following:
- Design the building to ensure that walls and doors are more soundproof.
- Install carpeting and other sound-absorbing elements to minimize how far conversations can travel.
- Install glass doors on offices so that ministers can counsel privately without fear of inappropriate relationships developing.
- Implement a sound masking system for optimum noise coverage.
While designing for absorbing and blocking elements can aid in noise reduction, the most effective method is sound masking. Sound masking is the addition of white noise (ie a low-level background hum) to the offices, nursery, and any area in the facility in which personal conversations and potential distractions are common. Besides being the most effective element of the ABCs of sound coverage, sound masking is also the least seen in that the speakers are mounted within the ceiling tiles, thus separate from design aesthetics. By installing sound masking, you can ensure that your church or place of worship is a welcoming and trustworthy haven for all.
Click to learn more about reducing distractions and maximizing privacy in your facility so that everyone can feel safe and comfortable.