Once noise exceeds 85 decibels all work suffers. 70 decibels is the equivalent of the hum of a coffee shop, which potentially makes them places for creative thinking. Is your office too loud? If everyone is wearing headphones, it tells you it is too loud to focus. If it’s too quiet, it may well kill innovation.
As Professor Ravi Mehta puts it: ‘Extreme quiet tends to sharpen your focus, which can prevent thinking in the abstract.’