Rest can be defined as “Cessation of work, exertion, or activity and relief or freedom from disquiet or disturbance”. To be functional a rest area needs to provide this for the Eye, the Ear and the Mind.
It should also be noted that rest areas in working environments become increasingly valuable as areas for sharing informal information, thus greasing the corporate machine.
In rest areas with inferior acoustics the noise generated by speech has a tendency to increase since people raise their voices to be heard. The effect is known as the Lombard effect or, in popular terms, cocktail effect. By introducing free-hanging units above gathering areas like tables and coffee machines the noise levels in the vicinity will be reduced and the need of speaking louder diminishes. Sharp sound from dinner sets and other utensils will be softer and less trying. Free-hanging units will increase speech intelligibility, making it easier to keep a conversation at the table.