The trend continues in office design towards a more open and collaborative work environment and while there’s a lot to be said for the benefits of an office environment that enables employees to share information, there can also be a downside to all that communication as well.
Unwanted office noise is the # 1 complaint in the workplace.
According to a recent article in Building Design & Construction magazine, over 70 % of office workers say a reduction in noise would increase their productivity, while only 19 % of executives surveyed were aware of a noise problem. This lack of understanding often results in a noisy work environment that can have a negative impact on employee productivity, morale and even retention.
If you’re in the process of planning a new office space, be sure to consider the acoustics. A balanced approach to planning office acoustics includes office furniture, acoustical ceiling tiles and sound masking as the key components of an acoustically efficient workplace.
The balanced approach to planning office acoustics is as easy as A, B, C.
Absorb – Design elements such as carpet, acoustical ceiling tile and furniture partitions absorb sound instead of deflecting it back into the work environment. Hard surfaces like exposed ceilings and concrete floors may look cool, but are hard materials and don’t absorb sound.
Block – For areas that require privacy, sound can be blocked with full-height walls. There are also high performance wall systems that can be moved later as your environment changes. These moveable walls offer accelerated depreciation as well.
Cover – sound masking systems provide even distribution of sound to prevent workers from easily overhearing conversations.
While a more open and collaborative work environment can be good for business, just be sure you don’t overlook the acoustics.
If you’d like to learn more about the acoustics in your workplace, call or email Team Office today.