Why Office Acoustics Matter
You can greatly improve the lives of your employees by improving the acoustics in the office. They can become more productive, and happier in general. Higher productivity should be the goal of every office. Greater productivity means more done in less time, with the same or greater quality of work. It can help your people create more products, provide better services, and in general keeping things running smoothly. It also, of course, means more money down the line, or maybe just more free time. Of course, how you are to achieve this is a different thing altogether.
Namely, you want higher productivity in the office, your aim is to maximize your workers’ performance. Don’t make the mistake, however, of thinking that adopting the slave driver mentality will make things go in your favour. The exact opposite is true. People respond best to positive stimuli, to being respected and cared for. You want to make their jobs as pleasant as possible, something that will directly lead to greater morale, more efficiency, and greater productivity. And one of the best ways you can try is with your office.
Indeed, we all spend at least 40 hours per week in an office. Day in and day out, spending five days a week in a single space will greatly impact our lives. But if you do your all to make the experience as pleasant as possible, working on making the office as comforting as you can, you can achieve success. Read on below to see just how important office acoustics are.
Avoiding auditory overstimulation
People respond to stimuli in different ways. Some feel overwhelmed with too much visual stimuli but handle noise just fine. Others are the opposite. However, there is a limit to our differences. The modern office, with its tendency to go with open-plan designs and styles, can truly be overwhelming and problematic no matter how well you handle noise. The last thing you need is to lose concentration at work.
Namely, there is a great benefit to people constantly collaborating, talking, and let their ideas out. The issue here is that there is a by-product to this type of interaction – noise. An office that is just too noisy will hinder productivity, mess up our concentration, and just, in general, make life much more difficult for anybody who wants to get his or her work done. This irrelevant noise disrupts our work, increases stress, and hamstrings productivity.
The sound of silence
On the other hand, too little noise can also be quite unnerving. An office that is completely silent creates tension, it makes people feel either exposed or isolated. Both too much noise, and too little, will not make your office a place where actual good work can be done.
What you should strive towards is creating a workspace that can cater to a middle road, an acoustic design that doesn’t hinder productivity due to loud noises, but that also doesn’t cause stress because of an every and tense silence. The usage of materials that absorb too much noise, that dampen loud brainstorming sessions and that allows for some privacy during phone calls will do wonders
Working in a fast paced, high-octane office provides people with excellent results, and a serious challenge to their skills and talents. However, this can also lead people to suffering a great deal of stress, something that in both the short and the long-term messes with your productivity and even health. Minimizing it in every possible manner is key to keep your company successful, and in order to achieve your goals. Too much noise, or too little, can just increase it. Just as you would allow your people to take breaks, or just as you would invest in a good rec-room, so should you try and improve the acoustics at your office.
Sound reduction and control
Open-plan offices are the worst when it comes to excess noise. Couple that with these places having hardwood floors or tiles that will, in fact, amplify any sound you hear, and even create an echo, and you get a very stressful environment. On the other hand, carpets and other soft fabrics used for flooring will help with this issue. Linoleum and vinyl floors are also adequate. Contacting a good company, like 45dB Workplace Acoustics for example, can help you not only get the materials you need, but also assist you in setting things up. Professionals dealing in this field understand the importance of acoustics for the office, and they will know exactly how to get things in order.
Another thing that controls sound and acoustics in an office are ceiling tiles, but also something a bit more creative. Bookshelves and storage units that are made from felt will also give your people the right amount of acoustic privacy and control they need.
Instead of having your people leave the building or lock themselves in an office during important phone calls, using physical barriers can help them get their work done properly. Partitions walls and panels within open-plan offices, made from special insulating materials, can assist in blocking sounds.
Multi-layer office design
Going with a multi-layered office design will help you control how sound is set up. It can concentrate sounds in certain areas, while dampening it in others. For example, one section of your office, with appropriate panels, flooring, and ceiling tiles, can serve as a “quiet room”. Here people can take a break, relax, or perhaps it can be a place specialized for private conversations and important phone calls.
Improving your office as much as you can is key for greater productivity and employee motivation. Too much noise, are a complete lack of noise, will increase employee stress and hinder productivity. People won’t be able to communicate or to get their work done appropriately. Phone calls, private or business, will also be much more difficult to conduct. A layout appropriate for your business can mitigate all of these issues, along with a combination of proper insulating and isolating materials.