Those who know me know that I frequent several coffee shops to hit the key and write on the piece, especially if I have a critical dead line. The runrún of the cafe muffles the distracting noises, and it also helps the ritual of drinking coffee (and caffeine), as well as the fact that in a cafeteria you can get bored ... so working is a way to hide that boredom.
This idea, however, seems to have been confirmed by a recent study by Japanese researchers that has been presented at the Annual Meeting of the Acoustic Society.
The study of marras has been carried out by Takahiro Tamesue, from the University of Yamaguchi in Japan, and the conclusion is that noises and murmurs do not distract as much as the conversations of office colleagues: our brain simply does not pay as much attention to coffee dialogues because they are not linked to our work environment , we are not so interested per se.
As he explains Tamesue:
Close conversations often alter the work routine in open offices. Because it is difficult to soundproof an installation like this, one way to mask conversations that can be distracting is to play another type of sound that has no meaning. Our experiments suggest that when designing sound environments in spaces used for cognitive tasks, such as a workplace or schools, it would be appropriate to consider not only the level of sound, but also the significance of the noise present.