Working in open offices, where cubicles have taken the place of walls, increases stress and decrease motivation. In addition, people subjected to low-level but constant noise tend to sit very still and make few adjustments to their seating and work space, raising the risk of musculoskeletal injuries. One possible reason is that under stress, people focus in on their main task or activity, and are not as cognizant as they should be of changing their posture or taking a break.
Most employees have little refuge from office noise. Some find relief by wearing headphones or using "mid-frequency sound" devices that mask more intrusive noise.