The Project Factory, a digital agency in Australia, just released Sound Bored: a free mobile app that comes loaded with the office sounds people are no longer hearing, as they work from home and practice social distancing. Sound Bored was designed to amuse and comfort anyone who may miss their colleagues or working in an office environment. The app’s office background noises include those of coffee brewing, someone eating chips nearby, yelling, sighing, crumpling paper, typing and more.
On its teal-and-purple, 80’s-aesthetic surface, with the pun right in its name...Sound Bored capitalizes on silliness. Yet it also links to something much deeper: how social distancing measures are affecting mental health. Yes, organizations’ top priority is (and should be!) combating coronavirus itself. But that doesn’t mean its impact on loneliness should be overlooked; in fact, MIT just published the first-ever study showing that our need for human connection is as fundamental as our need for food.
Of course, not everyone has the time or means to virtually socialize with others as much as they’d like to. In those moments when consumers can’t connect, how can you bring about a feeling of interaction - something reminiscent of their pre-pandemic social experiences? Sound Bored provides the background noises people had when they weren’t working alone. Hilton published its infamous cookie recipe, for guests missing the treat from their favorite hotel. Which familiar experiences can you recreate for consumers, to provide stability and a respite from loneliness?
The TrendWatching content team