Those of us working office jobs know how quiet it can get — headphones go on and the subtle clicking of modern keyboards fades away. It would seem such a setup makes for solid productivity, but The Times doesn’t agree. Instead, it is blasting its writers with typewriter sound effects to increase worker output.
The new change was a surprise to workers, who showed up at work to find a large speaker in the newsroom rapping out a growing clatter of typewriter sounds. The Times says this is a test targeted towards improving productivity and (in theory) energizing writers.
The setup is an odd one, playing the sound of a single typewriter earlier in the day and slowing increasing to include more as the paper’s deadline nears. Whether this will work — particularly amongst workers who might never have used a typewriter — isn’t known yet.
Those not accustomed to the noise are likely to find it distracting, prompting them to reach for a pair of headphones to drown out the clatter. What do you say? Would you feel motivated if your office started playing typewriter sound effects?
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