How good office acoustics improve focus and productivity
What does your office sound like? Do you hear yourself twice when calling a colleague? Do voices and office sounds blend into a disturbing noise? Pleasant office acoustics make it much more enjoyable to work there. Discover how to create work-friendly acoustics in this blog post. Address noise stress and loss of focus and productivity at the root.
What is acoustics?
You have probably experienced this before. You walk into a large office space and everything you say echoes back and forth. This is what ‘bad acoustics’ sounds like. Acoustics refers to the effect or properties of a room on sound and its resonance. How does sound propagate across the room? How is sound absorbed or reflected? Sound is absorbed by rough and soft materials while bouncing off of materials with a smooth or hard finish. Modern office spaces tend to consist of concrete, steel and glass. Which means there is work to be done.
Is acoustics underestimated?
Acoustics are often overlooked or neglected in the construction or renovation of buildings. Impressive aesthetics tend to receive the bulk of the attention. And yet, it has been proven that a high sound level fuels stress, reduces focus and negatively impacts productivity. It is no coincidence that noise nuisance is one of the most frequently heard complaints at work. Consider colleagues speaking too loudly, the sound of fingers tapping on a keyboard or rattling and buzzing office equipment. Noise forces employees to speak more loudly to drown it out, which deteriorates working conditions at the office even further.
Luckily, these problems can be remedied with minor interventions. With reduced stress levels and improved well-being at work, your employees will find it easier to focus and their productivity will improve. Such interventions can be aesthetically pleasing as well. All of our acoustic and soundproofing office furniture has a fresh and modern look.
Time to address bad acoustics at your office.
How to go about it? Use the following three tips as a guideline.
1. Cover hard surfaces
Hard surfaces do not absorb sound waves. On the contrary, they keep each and every sound ‘bounding’ around the room. The consequence is an annoying and stress-inducing effect. Combat such distracting sounds by upholstering hard surfaces, such as walls and ceilings, with acoustic material. The material will dampen the sound to create optimal acoustics and a much more pleasant place to work.
2. Absorb sound at the source
Make sure that the sound in open office spaces and meeting rooms is absorbed at the source. Apply acoustic panels to walls, ceilings, desks and even furniture. Sofas and chairs with a high, upholstered backrest contribute to sound absorption as well.
Another way to mitigate voices and sounds at the source is to use cubes. These are closable acoustic rooms where an employee can focus on their work without being distracted by conversations of others. They can also be used the other way around: by conducting meetings or telephone conversations in a bubble or phone booth, you can make sure not to disturb your colleagues. Did you know that cubes are very easy to install and move around?
3. Block propagating sounds
Sounds can be blocked with tactical placement of screens, barriers and walls in between the source of the sound and the workspace. Acoustic partitions are highly effective in that regard. They impede desk-to-desk noise in open-plan offices. Once again, cubes offer a reliable solution while plants with large leaves, positioned in clusters, shorten the echo of sound. Rather than reflecting sound waves, the leaves let them pass thereby dampening the sound. Acoustic ceiling panels help inhibit sound transfer from one room to the other.
Each situation and office space is different and demands a specific approach. This is why our advice is always tailored to your situation. You can count on our professional approach when it comes to enhancing your office with excellent acoustics. Contact us today for more information or an informal introductory chat.