Importance of configuring acoustics in open offices
Spending just a few days in an open office is too short of a time to become aware of the nuisance noise can be. Since most offices today are designed as open spaces, configuring office acoustics cannot be left to whispering, $200 noise-canceling headphones or going out of the room whenever you need to answer a phone call.
Most companies that employ a large workforce in a shared space struggle with this problem: they get unhappy staff because of constant cacophony created by sighs, coughs, chatter, ringtones (or vibrations), opening and closing notebook cases and backpacks, refilling the coffee cups; and the other usual buzz that comes from the simple fact many people are sharing a workspace.
It seems that when companies decided to use the studies that spoke in favor of using open spaces for productivity, they didn’t think of other variables that could take the process the other way. It’s amazing to have a colleague close to you when you are designing a new product. But it can be annoying if that same person is on the phone several times a day, because a client demands more attention. Then again, putting up walls again is not the best solution either; it looks more like a backward turn.
Benefits of configuring office acoustics
To determine the best way forward in implementing office acoustics in your space, you may want to consider how office acoustics solutions help your office calm down:
- Enable channeled social sharing. There is a grain of truth to the tag TMI or ”too much information” in an open office. The right noise-prevention alternative will help your team share just the right thing by remaining in visual and informal social contact with colleagues while minimizing insignificant noise that is not important for the work.
- Support business confidentiality. Applying acoustic panels for offices cuts down the sound traveling distance across the office. Unintentionally spilling a business secret to a person seating 50 ft apart is almost impossible.
- Help productivity, memory, cognition and morale. Optimal acoustics is a productivity booster. By keeping distraction to a minimum, swift memory repair and reduced stress, the cognitive process is decluttered from needless content and can be directed toward job fervor and morale.
- Wide cost-range. Office acoustics elements come in both expensive and cheaper variants. You can use studio-type panels to reshape the architectural structure of the building if you are in charge. But if you are only renting an open office space and you are not exactly at liberty to build walls and roofs, you can go for standalone options that will provide comfortable and quiet experience for your colleagues.
- Chance for an office revamp. Although not a priority, a great looking office is an impression investment. A piece of soft, sound-absorbing furniture or covered acoustic panels for offices is a chance to keep your employees’ sanity in place and impress your clients at the same time.
Letting a free-flowing sound go over the place and stay silent to your employees’ needs curbs productivity. Lessened productivity affects every aspect of your business, killing the team motivation by making staff resentful to all that seemingly social place where most part of the day is spent with headphones over the ears.
What are some of the ways to reduce sound in open offices?
To reduce sound in open offices, providing a set of free earplugs to anyone sharing the workspace can be at least you can do. By investing a bit more into this soundproof office acoustics solutions, you will create a game-changing experience for a loud office.
Here is what you can do:
- Use sound-absorbing materials like acoustical ceilings, walls and carpeting.
- Install a sound-masking system that keeps the sound within a certain radius.
- Place portable acoustic panels for offices on walls or around the office.
- Get white-noise machines.
- Design a biophilic open office to enable a natural environment.
All of the above are inside office acoustics solutions. When you can’t do much in the office, you can eliminate the outside noise by properly sealing the doors and the windows (if you have the authority to do so) or simply by searching for a coworking space that has the acoustics well thought-out.