These days it is becoming more and more normal to find ways on how to make your employees ‘happy’ at work. Bean bags, nice music, plant walls, pinball machines and super espresso mochaccino makers. However, the main question anyway is – does it also make them work harder?

At our office, we currently have one big table where almost all of the team sits and works. We chat while walking around the small office, sometimes we’re dunking at our miniature basketball in its designated ring, but most of the time we laugh loud and play loud music – and sometimes that causes serious cabin fever. For a short amount of time we want to bite off each other’s heads and dunk that through our dwarfish basketball ring – and frustration follows of course…

So in short, we have a lot of fun and that works wonders for our creativity – but it does not always work in favour for our efficiency. That’s why we wanted to try SoundShade – the calming sound system. It’s a beautiful speaker with specifically designed sounds to make you feel concentrated and relaxed.

The system has number of sounds to choose from: birds singing, waterfall, boiling water, sheep, purring cat, wind chimes and many more. Only the user’s creativity is the limit while combining sounds to a perfect cocktail through your web browser.

Funny enough the device was somewhat divisive at the office. As I turned on the sounds of wind chimes others buried their heads in their sweaters yelling ‘feels like I’m sitting on graveyard’ but I on the other hand found it very comforting. Now the fun started when our Frenchman turned on his favorite sound ‘the sheep’ and our sales person pushed the ‘fire place’ button. All of a sudden we are listening to a sheep which apparently is standing in a fire place. Because you can change the sounds remotely our sales person also decided to slowly, one by one, turn on every sound and increase the volume. Before we knew it sounded like we were sitting on a market square in India.

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But all goofing put aside, we also noticed that when you put on the right volume and only a few sounds on, we would work in peace. Where normally we would have music on, now we had silence with only the background sounds from the SoundShade device. It seemed to work, we became more efficient with it – and now we have to admit that we do miss it a bit.

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