After months of silence, cafes have reopened, restaurants are filling up again and outdoor concerts are all the rage. In a nutshell, the world just got a whole lot noisier!
But did you know that only 1.3% of us actually enjoy going to noisy places?!
This is just one of the initial discoveries we made when we surveyed 142 people living and working in London – one of the noisiest places in the UK!
And that’s not all. 56% of people told us that they actively avoid going to noisy places, while a whole 28% of people still go to noisy places despite not liking them. Why? Because everyone else is going and they believe there’s no better option.
That makes a whopping 84% of people who just don’t enjoy going to noisy places at all – a sad state of affairs in a city that simply isn’t designed for sound.
What do we want?
So, if noise isn’t what we’re after, what exactly do people look for in a social space? Here’s what our respondents told us:
- Atmosphere and interiors – 62%
- How busy it is – 35%
- Basic amenities (like menu, location and price) – 96%
Interestingly, people aren’t necessarily looking for quiet spaces.
Although 33% of people told us that they want somewhere quiet when they head out for remote working, it’s a different matter entirely when they’re looking for somewhere to socialise. In fact, 13% of respondents specifically stated that they’re looking for somewhere that’s not quiet!
You might think that this is all getting a bit complex. People don’t want noise, but they also don’t want quiet?!
Ultimately, it all comes down to atmosphere. Social spaces need to be quiet enough to allow people to have a conversation, but busy enough to be ‘lively’ and ‘buzzy’. We get it. The last thing you want is to head out to a bar, only to find that it’s totally silent and the whole place can hear your every word!
Just like our personalities, our hearing likes and dislikes are unique to us – nobody else has a hearing profile quite like yours! That said, one thing that we all seem to agree on is how horrible we feel when we can’t hear or be heard by the people around us.
47% of people told us that they ‘often’ find it hard to hear and be heard by others because a place is noisy, while 44% said this happens to them ‘sometimes’.
This lack of easy conversation causes us to feel a range of emotions. 40% of our respondents told us that it makes them feel ‘frustrated’. 25% said that it leaves them feeling ‘annoyed’. And other words that cropped up time and time again include ‘distracted’, ‘irritated’, ‘awkward’ and ‘anxious’.
The words may be different, but the sentiment’s the same – these spaces just aren’t working for us!
So, if our social spaces have left you feeling down, frustrated or even outright annoyed, you’re not alone. That’s why we’re working with venues across the capital to change things. And in the meantime, there’s a ton of things you can do to start enjoying the social spaces around you a whole lot more.
Whether it’s choosing a venue that we’ve Certified for Sound, creating your Hearing Aura or browsing our blog that’s jam-packed with sound information and tips, start your Hearing Wellness journey here. We can’t wait to be a part of it!