Managing Workplace Acoustics Effectively: Why They Are Important?

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Imagine sitting at your executive desk, immersed in a project due tomorrow. However, your focus is interrupted by colleagues laughing and chatting, phones ringing, chairs scraping, and the sounds of keyboards clicking in the background. Sounds frustrating, right? 

Remark Group, a workplace sound specialist, surveyed 1,000 UK-based office workers and found that 65% of respondents reported that too much office noise negatively impacts their productivity. 

Therefore, while modern workplaces with open-space planning encourage collaboration, noise is a byproduct. Moreover, a noisy environment becomes noisier over time as people start speaking louder to compete with the surrounding noise. This is referred to as the Lombard effect.

Hence, putting a little effort into intelligently designing your workspace and installing acoustic elements can go a long way in combating noise. Read on to explore why acoustics in the modern workplace is essential and ways to implement them in your office.

The 3 P’s of Effective Workplace Acoustics 

The following are some positive effects of good workplace acoustics:

1. Productivity

Office noise heightens negative mood by 25%, negatively affecting employee productivity. Thus, improving office acoustics will decrease distractions, making it easier for employees to concentrate and complete tasks on time and accurately, make and receive phone calls, and communicate without distracting their colleagues.

An employee feeling frustrated by poor workplace acoustics, resulting in distraction.

2. Prosperity

Extreme noise levels can have a detrimental impact on the physical and mental health of employees. It can trigger physiological stress responses such as high blood pressure, weight loss, sleep disruptions, and hearing loss, which may eventually lead to depression. 

Therefore, if added correctly, office acoustics can boost employee morale and well-being by balancing collaboration and productivity.

In offices with open space planning, adequate office acoustics are vital to ensuring employees' physical and mental well-being.

3. Privacy

While open space planning facilitates seamless communication, there must always be a soundproof meeting pod or a confidential space that does not reverberate sound internally or externally. Office acoustics provide a secure environment for private conversations without worrying about eavesdropping.

Soundproof meeting pods provide a secure environment for confidential conversations.

Also read: 4 Innovative Solutions to Improve Privacy in an Open Plan Office

The 3 Ways to Reduce Noise in The Modern Workspace

1. Absorption

Implementing sound absorption techniques that reduce the reflection of sound will help reduce noise levels. Soft surfaces generally do not contribute to noise reverberation. 

You may choose upholstered furniture such as soft executive chairs, sofas, or high-rise chairs. Preferably, buy seating with cushions. Alternatively, you can use a storage unit or bookcase as a partition to absorb some sound across a range of frequencies. Additionally, you may use acoustic panels on walls to reduce and absorb sound. Areas with active communication can benefit from sound-absorbing planters too. 

Check out our operator’s desk with a sound-absorbing dividing screen ideal for privacy and concentration.

An operator's desk with a sound-absorbing dividing screen helps to reduce noise levels by absorbing sound and is also ideal for privacy.

2. Blocking

Using acoustics to prevent sound transmission from one area to another effectively controls both internal and external noise levels. 

You may create designated quieter areas like acoustic phone and meeting booths, work pods, or private pods for the breakout rooms. You can also invest in an operator’s desk with an optional dividing screen to create a barrier between sound coming towards or leaving your desk.

Work pods are increasingly used to improve office acoustics since they prevent sound transmission from one area to another

3. Sound Masking

Sound masking is a strategy of adding an ambient sound of the same frequency as human speech through speakers. As a result, the speakers produce “white noise” to protect speech privacy, reduce distracting noises, and combat excessive silence. 

Sound masking uses speakers to produce “white noise” to protect speech privacy and reduce distracting noises simultaneously.

Wrapping Up

As offices become increasingly crowded and open, office acoustics is crucial to ensure employee productivity and well-being without compromising comfort. 

Auraa Design offers various sound-absorbing modern office furniture to complement your office decor. Explore our collection of phone booths, meeting booths, work pods, and sofas with exclusive acoustic features or get in touch with us to discuss your needs. You can count on us to create bespoke furniture that matches your style, ensuring a practical and aesthetic solution to manage your workplace acoustics.