I was browsing through my weekend pictures, when I saw the picture I yesterday took in the business lounge at Manchester airport (UK). I first wanted to write a wonderful post about it. A silent zone is a great initiative. It can reduce the issues I referred to in my post of last week about smartphone noise hinder in lounges, lobby’s, and restaurants. It’s a little stylish sign that helps staff members and other guests to attend the other people about the request for silence.
It helps, but it does not do the job if you do not train the staff to do it right. As you might have guessed by now, the silent zone was not that silent at all. What’s more, the silent zone was used to make phone calls, whereas the people outside the silent zone were working on their PCs. The reason for the latter, is that there were no visible plugs for loading the batteries in the silent zone, and the high tables with very visible power plugs overlooking the tarmac, were in the center of the lounge. And the relaxing seats in the silent zone were maybe a little bit too inviting to have a long conversation over the phone.
I sill support my advice to use indications like shown on the picture to mark a quiet zone and help staff and guests to increase the silence over there. And now, even more, I advise management to train their staff, to keep those places silent by gently correcting every little issue at once.