Noisy offices are terrible and is more than a mere distraction. Study reveals that noise levels are one of the biggest sources of workplace complaints. Though many working professionals find that a lively, open office space in Delhi brimming with the sounds of enthusiastic colleagues working together makes for a positive, invigorating place to collaborate on work projects. As well as hampering productivity, prolonged exposure to even relatively low levels of office noise leads to elevated stress levels.
To tackle the growing levels of office noise complaints, we can make some simple changes and additions to our offices, we can reduce the amount of noise. Here are some noisy office structural solutions one can use to reduce noise in the workplace.
Replacing regular ceiling tiles with acoustical ceiling tiles will help decrease noise levels. From an aesthetics point of view, unfinished concrete or real wood ceiling panels offer the type of “authentic” look that many designers and space planners are looking for in today’s industrial-look workplaces.
To meet the WELL Building Standard, reverberation in an open office cannot exceed 0.5 seconds. Acoustical ceiling tiles are specifically designed to absorb more ambient sound and reduce reverberation in a space, helping to bring noise levels in line with WELL Building requirements.
Replacing hard flooring with carpet will have a significant impact on office noise levels. All carpet will improve noise levels compared with hard surface flooring, but cushion-backed carpet tiles offer the ultimate in noise reduction.
Cushion-supported modular carpet absorbs 50% more noise than hard-surfaced tiles, which in turn absorb three times more noise than the hard flooring.
Sound travels further in open offices, with no walls to block noise from conversations, moving chairs, and foot traffic.
One approach is to counter this is to install dividers and provide workers with their own cubicles. However, while this will be effective at blocking added sound, clients will lose the networking benefits of having an open office space. It will also block light as well as sound, creating a less appealing working environment.
Alternatively, you can install panels such as those made by glasses, which create an attractive design element and improve office acoustics while still allowing some light to pass through.
Get Innovative with layout changes
Modifying the layout can make a generous effect to office noise levels, by managing the flow of people and changing how various areas are used.
Establish dedicated zones
In an open office, it’s essential to make a distinction between your heads-down workspace, breakout areas, and communal areas, such as kitchen and dining facilities.
Particular noise levels will be acceptable in different spaces. If you have clearly defined breakout areas for informal meetings and collaborative work, and kitchen spaces for eating and conversation, your heads-down workspace will become quieter because casual conversations will be taking place elsewhere.
While an open office is perfect for encouraging networking, the addition of private, closed rooms will make a noticeable improvement in noise levels throughout the space. Closed-off spaces give employees areas for confidential meetings and private phone calls, removing this extra noise from the main desks area.
In contribution to the larger structural and layout enhancements, there are possibilities for littler changes available such as noise absorbing furniture and equipment which help as a solution to reduce ambient noise.
Perhaps the most obvious way to reduce noise in your open office space is by purchasing a pair of high quality noise resisting headphones. Some tech brands boast 100% noise reduction using microphones and special processing to create an opposite sound wave than the one headed for your eardrum.
Delicate surfaces ingest more stable than hard surfaces, reducing reverberation and lowering ambient noise levels – just like switching hard flooring to modular carpet.
Think about some basic approach for many furnishings: selecting upholstered desk chairs rather than benching, and curtains or fabric blinds rather than wooden or plastic blinds. You may also want sofas or even beanbag seating in your breakout area, which offers more opportunities to bring soft furnishings into the office.
Experiment with sound masking
Certain sounds are more distracting than others, and in open offices, overheard speech is the most serious issue. A few organizations have made an irregular move to defeating this, utilizing different sounds to block out conversation.
Known as sound veiling, surrounding noise, for example, white noise or the sound of rainfall, is utilized to cover up more disruptive sounds. It’s significant this doesn’t really make a space calmer; it just makes a few sounds seem less problematic.