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Brief Published: 15 Mar 2013

Coffitivity: Ambient Sounds for Workers


New US-based website Coffitivity provides a soundtrack of ambient café sounds in an effort to help mobile workers improve their creative output in any environment. Coffitivity cites a 2012 report (a collaboration between researchers at the Universities of Illinois, Virginia and British Columbia) that found that a moderate level of ambient sound (around 70 decibels) “enhances performance on creative tasks”.

Now available in beta mode, the Coffitivity website features a 10-minute long recording of common coffee-shop sounds – like dishes being moved around and indecipherable conversations – which will play on repeat for as long as the user desires.

Coffitivity’s creative director Ace Callwood told Stylus that the site’s users hail from various lines of work. “We've had feedback from people of all ages in all types of work settings, from stay-at-home parents to freelance designers to web developers to corporate office workers.”

Callwood credits the interest in Coffitivity to a growing desire among remote employees to be productive in any setting. “The reality is, in a go-go-go society riddled with information and gadgets, it seems like people are ready to accept anything that helps them settle in and truly crank out some work.” Future plans for the site have not been solidified but may include an extended audio recording and a mobile app.

Stylus investigates the changing role of cafes in Café Culture, and highlights innovative at-home office designs in The New Home Office. For the latest in shared office design, see Nomadic Workspaces.