Managing Noise in the Workplace
Practical Acoustics Solutions
In today's modern workplace, open floor offices have become the go-to layout for encouraging collaboration among colleagues. But with this innovative design comes some unique acoustic challenges. The sound around us can significantly impact our mood, well-being, and productivity, for better or worse. In this context, sound acoustics play a crucial role in shaping our workspace. Below we offer some straightforward solutions to address these acoustical issues and create an environment that fosters both productivity and employee well-being.
One of the more obvious ways to reduce noise is simply block it with a wall. Many modern cubicle systems already have some sound-dampening features, but in high-traffic areas, additional measures may be necessary. In open office designs, cubicles are usually excluded to encourage collaboration or bring in more natural light. This is where specially designed acoustic panels come into play.
Free-standing or hanging panels can help maintain an open feel while still effectively reducing noise in a busy workspace. If a large wall doesn't fit the space, a simple 'totem' might be the right choice.
In smaller spaces, like in a boardroom, every inch of floor space counts. Wall-mounted panels provide a practical solution for sound dampening. By utilizing wall space, these panels efficiently address acoustic concerns without encroaching on precious square footage.
When both floor and wall space is limited, another option is to hang sound-dampening pieces from the ceiling. Some of these forms can even be incorporated into light fixtures, making efficient use of the overhead space.
'Phone booths' are becoming increasingly popular in commercial spaces like airports and hotel lobbies, but they can also be a coveted utility in an office setting. Employees often need a quiet space for phone calls, both for business or personal reasons. You no longer have to resort to hiding in a bathroom stall for some peace and quiet. You can read more about booths in one of our previous blogs.
Even more options
The solutions are endless when you start digging into the available options:
- Desktop mounted panels can work on individuals’ desks
- Sound-dampening foam inside of artwork can make the acoustic system invisible
- The furniture itself can be built with acoustics in mind to help quiet the space
- Vinyl wall coverings can act as colourful wallpaper while also enhancing the acoustics at the same time.
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