Leadership / 09.01.20
How to Create a Sound Environment for Your Work
Since the pandemic hit and forced so many of us into home offices, INTIX has published several articles on how to make working remotely work best for you. So far, we have focused mostly on the importance of making your new workspace functional, how to personalize and decorate it, and how to avoid distractions and maintain the same level of productivity as before.
But that is all physical stuff. Being “at work” is more than just sitting in a chair, typing on a laptop, working the phones and attending Zoom meetings. It is also about dealing with isolation, working alone and often handling the quiet. As in live event productions, movies and TV shows, what your world sounds like is actually just important as what it looks like. So, here are 10 tips on how to keep home office life interesting and even fun from an audio standpoint.
1. If you miss working in an actual office with the usual co-worker chatter, phones ringing and the sounds of traffic on the street outside, then log onto The Sounds of Colleagues website and bring it all back! There, you can “create” your own workplace soundscape, mixing together the sounds of such things as a coffee machine, an office printer, computer keyboards and even an office dog.
2. If ambient sounds are more your thing, I personally love the A Soft Murmur website. Like The Sounds of Colleagues, you get a selection of sounds here from wind and rain to birds and crickets. There is also a catalog of preselected mixes that you can click on like “a stormy, turbulent morning” and “gale at the inn” and let play.
3. But let’s say you are not someone who craves a mix of sounds. You want one sound. But you still want it to be a somewhat whimsical, even transporting sound. I have always loved a good campfire or fireplace, and this two-hour loop on YouTube fits the bill.
4. Talk about being transported. What if your workplace was the bridge of the Enterprise-D from “Star Trek: The Next Generation?” Here is an eight-hour loop of just the sounds of Captain Jean-Luc Picard’s Enterprise complete with all of the little beeps and boops of the helm, ops, weapons and science stations (along with the murmur of the great ship’s engines, too).
5. What is that, you say? You’re more of an old-school Trekkie, and the original Enterprise of Captain James T. Kirk was your ship? Well, here is an eight-hour loop of the bridge sounds of the first Federation starship to be commissioned NCC-1701.
6. “Star Trek vs. Star Wars” is the pop culture nerd equivalent of “Coke vs. Pepsi,” “Walmart vs. Target” and “McDonald’s vs. Burger King.” So, if George Lucas’ galaxy far, far away is more your thing, let your home office sound like a Jedi Meditation chamber complete with ambient sound effects from the various films and subtle “Star Wars” music cues in this one-hour YouTube video.
7. From the Jedi Temple, you can cross over during your work day to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with this one-hour video of continuous rain sounds and John Williams’ iconic themes from the “Harry Potter” movies.
8. We might as well cover all of the sci-fi/fantasy realms and hit “The Lord of the Rings” and Middle Earth. Here is a three-hour loop of the ambient sounds (birds, waterfalls, wind) and music of Rivendell, the picturesque valley home of the elves.
9. Otherworldly realms are not everybody’s cup of tea, so let’s bring ourselves back down to Earth. In the pandemic, a lot of places can be a home office. Your spare guest room, a vacation condo, a back deck. But in the words of Tom Hardy from “Inception” (2010): “Dare to dream bigger, darling.” How cool would it be to set up your laptop and do your work from a jazz club in Paris? Wonder no more with this YouTube video playing in the background of your home office complete with piano music, soft percussion and even a bit of customer chatter.
10. Finally, let’s say you want to imagine any year other than 2020 where you are working from your home office. It is easy if you try. With the Radiooooo website, you can make your background work music everything from 1930s swing or 1950s doo-wop to 1980s New Wave or 1990s grunge. It is a musical time machine, and the decades from 1900 to today are all there at the click of a mouse.
You May Also Like
Want news like this delivered to your inbox weekly? Subscribe to the Access Weekly newsletter, your ticket to industry excellence.
Tags: Leadership , COVID-19 , Coronavirus