Raise Your Hand if You Value Silence: Noise Annoyance in Shared Workspace in NYC

March 21, 2017 / Written by Corporate Suites Staff

There are many different options for seekers of shared workspace in NYC. They range from open communal settings which tend to be on the informal side to the quiet, NYC private workspaces that more keep-to-themselves people tend to prefer.  While every company must choose an environment that matches its personality, the value of silence should not be overlooked in either case. Let’s examine the impact that a lack of peace and quiet has on professional performance.

We’d all agree that nothing breaks your concentration like loud, abrupt noises such a horn honking or a plane flying overhead. But what about low level background noise, the sounds that human beings make unintentionally? One workplace health study found that tenants in open-plan offices (defined as having more than six people) had 62% more sick days. (Pejtersen et al., 2011) It’s clear why. As human beings we are programmed to be easily distracted by the noise that other human beings make. Have you ever had a coworker who sneezed so loudly that it was more like a shout? Or how about those lunchtime sounds (crunching, slurping) – how easily can you ignore those?  Annoying sounds in an open office environment could be anything from blasting music to the unavoidable startling advertising pop-up noises that arise from a coworking office mate’s computer. Noise annoyance has a big impact on work performance, even if you don’t realize it at the time.

But the worst offender is, believe it or not, the human voice. As open office environments are common nowadays, it’s not unlikely to be exposed to other people’s conversations. This could be hard to tune out depending on how juicy the subject (aka eavesdropping). It’s nearly impossible for most people to follow a conversation while concentrating on another task.

Private offices allow for better focus, and aside from that, they assist with risk management. By segregating one company from another, they prevent accidental misappropriation of confidential information, which commonly happens in coworking spaces in NYC.

Had enough of loud coworking neighbors? We’ve got a “no noise pollution” policy in our quiet, professional shared workspace in NYC where you won’t be disturbed. Choose from six Class A buildings in Manhattan by emailing info@corporatesuites.com.


Pejtersen, JH, Feveile H, Christensen KB, Burr H. (2011). Sickness absence associated with shared and open-plan offices – a national cross sectional questionnaire survey. Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, & Health, 37(5), 376-382. doi:10.5271/sjweh.3167