Reducing noise in the office

We have all heard that silence is golden, but what about a lot of noise? Equally too much of something can be a bad thing, and this certainly applies with noise in the office environment. This can bring about many negative things including frustration among employees and lower productivity for example.

When you are thinking of refurbishing an office space, being noise conscious should be a big priority and given lots of thought. In this article we look at ways you can lower noise in your office space.

*Separate groups and solo workers

Establish an isolated conference room, lunch area etc. Placing these amenities away from those working alone will greatly reduce the sources of noise generated by workers. Consider installing heavy wooden doors in access points to these areas in order to prevent excessive noise reaching the quiet area. Placement of these areas is also of great importance for their effectiveness. It is advisable to avoid placing these areas in the centre of a building, towards the external walls is preferable. This will limit the potential for the noise to travel into surrounding areas within the office itself.

* Consider soft furnishings

The addition of soft furnishings such as fabric chair covers, plants or heavy curtains will help absorb some of the sound waves generates within the office and from external sources. Heavy curtains, though unconventional in office settings are highly effective in reducing noise pollution due to traffic outside the office. They may be purchased in plain, solid colours in order to retain a tradition office look. It is advisable to avoid furnishings with loud, bold patterns and colours and these may be distracting to the workers. Prolonged exposure to bright colours has also been linked to headaches. Plants may be placed near any potential source of noise. Plants may be a more cost effective and versatile option as they may be obtained in suitable sizes and styles for the space available. This would be a multi-functional addition to any work place and plants have been proven to boost morale and improve air quality which have can have an overall effect of happier, more productive workers.

* Add wall panels

Textured wall panelling may work to alter the overall acoustics of a work space. Sound waves become trapped within the texture of the walls, reducing the noise in the work space. Panelling is available in a wide variety of design options, many providing a modern, polished feel suitable for any office space. The material these panels are made of can affect the extent to which they reduce noise pollution. Softer materials will be most effective.

* Noise cancelling headphones

Providing noise cancelling headphones to employees enables them to choose whether or not they need to reduce the noise themselves. This method may be preferable as it required almost no maintenance after the initial purchase, and are probably office necessities anyway. Items such as noise cancelling headphones require a greater initial investment as cheaper products may not work as effectively. If you wish to use this as your primary method of noise reduction in an office containing higher numbers of workers, this may be an overall more expensive option however.

If you know your office has a noise problem, follow our tips for a more harmonic setting.

Whilst on our website, view a previous office project of ours, to get an idea of what we do.