Missing your colleagues’ quips? So have two creative teams from Sweden, after the COVID-19 spread forced everyone to work from home. Unwilling to let silence become their new companion, they worked together to bring their colleagues home – virtually, at least. The resulting audio mix, the Sound of Colleagues, can’t replace a playful banter but it’s so much better than a coffee shop ambiance, we promise!
“We missed the sound of our colleagues so much that we created this website as a substitute”, reads the message that welcomes every new visitor at Sound of Colleagues.
You are then invited to unmute so you can access what looks like a sound mixer. It’s minimalist and straightforward – you have nine separate recordings that you can enable, disable, or adjust depending on your tastes. All of them make up the perfectly splendid background noise from an ordinary work office.
The “open window” option is the most alike a coffee shop ambiance if it weren’t for the sound of taxis and construction sites. The “telephone” one is an annoying reminder of all the default ringtones that used to play at random moments of the day. “Keyboards” is the audio that almost all of us can associate with computer work and it’s both reassuring and almost foreign, at the same time.
Completing the mix are the sounds of a printer, coffee machine (bless ’em!), rain and… the office dog. The latter is a fun combination of drooling noises, barks and whines which make the entire scenario more believable yet, when listening exclusively to it, can be a bit eerie.
That’s all, folks! Familjen STHLM and Red Pipe Studios didn’t bother with insane graphics, sign-in options, and what-not. The intention was to give you a way to replicate the office atmosphere, even if they couldn’t replicate the sense of connection.