pin-drop syndrome
n. Extreme quietness in an office, which leads to worker stress because the significance of even the smallest noises is magnified. Also: pin drop syndrome.

Example Citations:
We thought one of the advantages of shopping on-line was NOT having to listen to Muzak's version of Christmas carols. Apparently, not everyone feels that way.

The entrepreneurs behind an Internet site called Green Caf fear that holiday Web-surfers are suffering from "pin drop" syndrome, an uncomfortable silence while shopping in cyberspace.

So Green Caf has added free background tunes to its menu of live Internet broadcasting programs at chicago.greencafe.com. A special selection of "Santa's Tunes" was recorded with music-deprived Internet shoppers in mind.
—Susan Chandler, "No more silent nights," Chicago Tribune, December 18, 1999

According to the experts, too-quiet offices are a growing problem. Double glazing, efficient air conditioning and computers that run without internal fans mean that the level of noise is lower than ever before.

The problem even has a name — 'pin drop syndrome', which has been investigated by Dr Yong Yan, a sound expert a Greenwich University.
—Gabriel Roberts, "When Silence Isn't Golden," Birmingham Post, January 5, 2000

Earliest Citation:
Taped chit-chat is to be broadcast continuously in the White City finance department after experts diagnosed a new condition, "pin-drop syndrome".

The accountants found the almost complete silence in their open plan, first-floor office unhealthily stressful. Some said it made them feel lonely and, on the rare occasions when the silence was shattered by the telephone, all 30 workers downed pens to eavesdrop on the conversation.
—Ed Harris, "Too quiet in the office," The Evening Standard, October 14, 1999

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