Here’s an interesting finding: Compared to a relatively quiet environment (50 decibels), a moderate level of ambient noise (70 dB) enhanced subjects’ performance on the creativity tasks, while a high level of noise (85 dB) hurt it. Modest background noise, the scientists explain, creates enough of a distraction to encourage people to think more imaginatively. You can read the full article at The Atlantic. I think that The Atlantic takes creative freedom here in suppositing that any gains in creativity are not reduced by ambiant distraction. Either way, I think everybody can be productive in nearly any environment… it just depends on the type of person, and the task at hand. Often times, a new environment allows people to think and get away from the distractions they have at home, or in the workplace.