Modern offices are typically open plan. While this works well for communication, collaboration and improved access to natural light and ventilation, a by-product of modern, interactive workspaces is noise. Everyone responds to their environment differently, and while some employees may not be distracted by a noisy office, others may find it challenging. Noise interruptions may affect productivity, as well as increasing stress and dissatisfaction in employees, so its important employers think about office acoustics.

What Are Office Acoustics?

Studies show that the biggest impact on productivity in an office is other people’s conversations. Even worse, once an employee is distracted, it can take 20 minutes for them to regain concentration, and error rates increase once work is resumed . Other sources of noise in an office include:

  • Ringing phones
  • Keyboard clicks
  • Employee movement
  • Air conditioners
  • Traffic

Good workplace acoustics can help employees feel more comfortable and increase productivity.

Increasing Productivity With Acoustics

Smart office design can help minimise noise disturbances and increase productivity. For example:

  • Hard floor surfaces (concrete for example) do not absorb noise so consider carpet or linoleum, vinyl or hessian floors to reduce noise.
  • Dividing screens fitted with sound reducing material keep the open feel of an office while absorbing sound. They are also easily movable making them ideal for workplaces that need to adjust their layout to accommodate fluctuating employee numbers.
  • Provide quiet, private spaces where employees can go to make phone calls or concentrate on a specific task.
  • Noise cancelling headphones block out noise distractions and also let other employees know that someone is focussing on a task.

An acoustical consultant can help with your office acoustics. If you have a noise issue in your work environment, contact Harwood Acoustics. We offer a wide range of acoustical services and can help create an inspirational and productive workspace.