Do you often find yourself distracted by someone else’s loud phone call? Or perhaps your office just doesn’t quite create the right acoustics for you to work at your best. Whatever the case, office acoustics should certainly not be overlooked when employers seek to provide the best working conditions for their teams.
Having a good acoustic environment is essential for high levels of productivity, especially in large offices and in smaller sub sections such as boardrooms.
1. Communication is Key
It’s crucial to remember that an office is designed for people to communicate and interact with one another to achieve the best results possible. This means that any unwanted noise – such as keyboards, phones and even air conditioning systems – should be kept at a minimum.
Depending upon the activities taking place in a room, employees should be able to communicate effectively with one another in the way that is most conducive to their work.
2. Avoid Errors
A bad acoustic environment can become very stressful to work in. Not only will employees not generate their best work, they may end up being affected by the noise and make unnecessary errors or struggle to concentrate.
If there is an excess of unnecessary noise, key information may be missed or details misheard leading to far greater issues.
3. Start at the Beginning
Most larger offices generally start at the reception area. Traditionally, these were designed with the view that they need to withstand wear and tear as they are most visited and closest to the outside. This led them to be designed with hard surfaces which can be incredibly noisy.
Using carpets or rugs, these areas can have their acoustics substantially improved meaning that staff close to the area will not be disturbed by excess sound travelling. If the reception area is a busy, lively place where phone calls are taken and directed, an absorbent ceiling panel can also help the acoustic environment.
4. A Good Meeting
When considering acoustics, it’s always essential to consider how a space is going to be used and what kind of acoustics are necessary. Meeting rooms are generally designed for a low level of noise and often matters of a sensitive nature are discussed there. It’s therefore essential that meeting rooms have minimal sound transmission possibly using tools such as an acoustic wall or good quality ceiling panels.
5. Open Plan, Open Sound?
Many offices now are open plan with a design that allows collaboration and ‘buzz’. However it’s still key that those employees who need privacy or peace and quiet are able to achieve this. Glass partitioning can help not only as a physical barrier but also to help reduce noise. There are a number of acoustic glass options to improve the effectiveness of these, as well as many decorative window tints and films that can add character to your office space.
6. Control the Climate
Particularly common in older buildings or warehouse facilities, you may find that temperatures tend to fluctuate between being too hot during the Summer and too cold during the Winter. This can not only lead to unhappy and uncomfortable staff, but also result in the overuse of your air conditioner – increasing your electricity bills.
Ensuring your office space is adequately insulated can help to control the climate for your staff which is key to productivity, and can also assist in protecting your perishable or sensitive stock through preventing excessive hot or cool conditions.