Noisy Neighbours

Today’s workplace is usually open-plan, inclusive, non-hierarchical in its layout. Hopefully it looks nice too; some lovely tiled flooring, a few shiny pieces of furniture, nice clean lines and smooth finishes. The furniture is superbly ergonomic, the temperature just right, the lighting perfect for your task. But what about the noise level?

It’s a simple equation really: Open-plan + Hard surfaces = LOUD NOISES!

The Stats

  • 64% of office workers are interrupted up to 20 times a day1
  • 70% of workers said they could be more productive in a less noisy office environment2
  • 72% of workers are dissatisfied with their privacy3

The fact is, a noisy environment reduces staff productivity, which in turn affects a company’s bottom line. In a company employing 186 people with an average salary of £33,890 a 15% reduction in productivity due to disruptive noise could cost the company £945,000 annually. The reality of a 15% reduction in productivity is that you’re effectively paying 15% of employees to do nothing!4

The Solution

Solving the noise issue is as easy as ABC – honestly.

A: Absorb – By using items such as acoustic ceiling tiles, wall panels (which can also perform as wall art), or ceiling islands, unwanted reflected sound from other hard surfaces is absorbed and the overall noise level reduced.

B: Block – Introduce vertical barriers to block sound travelling from source to listener. Look at your existing office construction first – do you have any air gaps around doors or poorly finished partitions that could be filled? Next, think about utilising desk-top screens between workstations, or floor standing screens around certain noisy areas.

C: Cover – Computer generated random sound that covers or masks unwanted noise and makes conversation and noise more difficult to hear and comprehend. This is a particularly specialist solution, but one that doesn’t require any visible alterations to the physical office environment.

Do you have an issue with noise management in your office environment? Why not give us a call on 01904 698 698 and begin the journey back to focussed working?

Statistics and “ABC” solutions provided by our acoustic consultant Screen Solutions

1 Brother Research

2 ASID Study

3 University of Berkeley Study

4 Scenario provided by Acoustic Comfort, a division of Screen Solutions

    Posted in Interiors - 13th September, 2012





    Follow @BenJohnsonLtd on Twitter