Is a noisy office effecting your productivity

Modern office spaces are fuelled by the desire for collaborative spaces, encouraging colleague interaction and improved internal communications.

The notion of keeping yourself to yourself, quietly working away in your cubby is a thing of the past, which employers preferring expansive, exciting open-plan office spaces. This can be wonderful for employee well being, and can vastly improve work quality – particularly in creative sectors in which collaborative work is imperative. It can cause an issue, however, with noise pollution.

Noise in the workplace annoys everyone. Surveys show that we care more about interior acoustics than we do about how clean our workplaces are, what we sit on and the temperature of our offices.

When open-plan offices and chattering colleagues contribute to an environment, concentration is virtually impossible. Humans have the capacity for about 1.6 human conversations, so if you're listening to one conservation particularly you're only left with 0.6 for your inner voice that helps you write. By this math, office workers are 66% less productive in an open-plan office than when left on their own.

Most sound humans hear is accidental and has a massive impact on our mood, our stress levels, and our productivity, but few people recognize it as a problem.

"Sound affects us psychologically, psychologically, cognitive and behaviourally, even though we're not aware of it," says Julian Treasure, Chairman of The Sound Agency and author of Sound Business.

Some examples include squeaky chairs, noisy cabinets, printers and, of course PEOPLE.

A seemingly unavoidable by-product of these interactive office surroundings is that of noise, but there are ways around it. Below are some methods in which you can create an environment that is acoustically balanced and ambient with clever office soundproofing.

Materials

Using a mix of materials throughout the workplace can help create spaces that are pleasing visually, but also improve sound pollution. Open-plan offices, particularly those with hard floor surfaces, do very little to absorb sound. The use of a mixture of materials will help to reduce echo. Introducing some softening materials such as carpets, linoleum, and vinyl flooring will all help minimize noise.

Furnishings

Introducing a variety of soft furnishings and decor can be effective in deflecting sound. Sound be absorbed by a range of furnishings that can be both practical and help absorb noise. Items such as portable storage units and bookshelves made from felt help to absorb sound across a broad range of frequencies.

Acoustic Desktop Screens

Acoustic desktop screens are one of the least expensive ways of addressing excess noise within the office, as they are typically within close proximity to the source. Acoustic screens help to absorb excessive noise as they have properties such as foam core, porous fabric, and other tested materials.

Suspended Acoustic Panelling

As they are both visually appealing and aid with the reduction of noise pollution, suspended panels are often a good voice for noise reduction in large open-plan offices. They’re usually designed with an eye for detail and an understanding of interiors, so make a fantastic visual impact in expansive open spaces.

Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels offer workspace and room dividing solutions whilst significantly reducing the ambient noise. One benefit of freestanding acoustic panels is that they can be moved to create different areas or zones without too much difficulty, and are often less expensive than traditional fixed partitioning.

Distracting noise in the working environment is one of the most common complaints our designers receive when taking a project brief. There is a big difference between ambient noise and distracting noise, and an office with the latter can be a lot less productive. Call the team today to see how we can help you create an ambient office environment.

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