The Wall Street Journal published an interesting article today on how our brains are wired to focus on one thing at a time. They site “The Cocktail-Party Effect” as the ability to filter out extraneous distractions to focus on the person in front of us.
A link to the full article is here:
There are several interesting points in the article:
“Our brains are wired for “selective attention” and can focus on only one thing at a time”.
“Many people think they can effectively multitask, but they are really shifting their attention rapidly between two things and not getting the full effect of either”.
In the workplace, this means that distraction from surrounding conversations will reduce productivity.
In our changing workplace (higher densities, lower panels) we can improve acoustics to reduce distractions and improve productivity.
Workplace Acoustics! We teach this everyday in our educational programs to designers and workplace planners.