Shhh: 3 reasons why office acoustic solutions are important to manage noise in workspace

04 Aug 2020
news

Sometimes even the good-designed workspaces are not immune to bad acoustics and noise pollution. Amber Peters, senior interior designer from Bluehaus Group, shares her insights on the importance of office acoustics and picks acoustic solutions, furniture and flooring products from our portfolio that not only look good but also absorb the sound.

How important are acoustics in the office? Usually, high noise levels are the biggest complaints in the office environment. Meeting rooms do not have enough acoustic privacy; the open plan is just too noisy; the list goes on. Imagine that you are trying to concentrate on something important and all you can hear is the buzzing sound of colleagues talking, keyboards clicking and music rumbling in the background. 'I can't think'.

Here are 3 reasons why acoustics in the workplace are important:

1.           Improve wellbeing: Noisy offices are proven to increase stress levels in workers; loud sounds and exposure to prolonged noise lead to physiologic stress responses in our bodies, e.g. heightened blood pressure and increased heart rate.

2.           Privacy: Acoustic products offer privacy, from meeting rooms, private offices to focus and work areas located within the open plan.

3.           Productivity: Noisy offices can negatively affect productivity in the workplace. Constant interruptions can lead to noise an inability to focus on work, which also links back to the improve wellbeing point mentioned above, as this can lead workers to feel stressed.

There are simple to reduce surrounding high noise levels in the office, with improving the overall office aesthetic. There are so many products that offer a solution to noise pollution within the office.

Key design elements that help to manage high noise levels in the workplace are:

1.           Absorbing sound at the source

2.           Blocking sound

3.           Covering hard surfaces

Sound absorbing materials such as carpet, soft furniture and acoustic panels can significantly improve the overall acoustic properties within a space. These generally need to be placed on the surrounding hard surfaces as hard surfaces do not absorb sound waves, this means any sound in a room with many hard surfaces'  bounces' and creates an echo effect.

Preserved moss and acoustic MDF modules as shown are an excellent way to slip in an absorptive acoustic material in a unique way, especially if the two are combined within one space. This is especially useful in open-plan office spaces & break out areas.

Another way to absorb sound is by using high backed sofas/chairs, or acoustic pods which offer privacy and provide a quiet space within open plan area, or a break away from the office environment to create your own through the Beatnik Sound Station Chair.

Purposeful placement of screens, barriers, and walls between the source of the noise and work areas can help to block noise from one area to another. Also, desk dividers are effective in blocking noise from desk to desk in open-plan offices, and as mentioned above, pods can be used to prevent sound too.

Ensuring the office layout is meticulously planned can reduce noise levels massively as partitions and dividers block sound travelling throughout the office.

Next

From Steelcase Pivot Screens that are part privacy partition and part whiteboard to Interface latest Step This Way collection to acoustic Moss Wall in shades of natural beige from Verde Profilo to Focus range from our Australian partners Schiavello, Amber's selection of products, which all come in neutral colour tones, provide a quiet refuge for both an individual work and private conversations.

These are Amber's top picks:

  1. Beatnik Sound Station Chair from dvo: It features high-quality Bose speakers that are integrated into the upper front part of the chair, creating a system that connects to your mobile, tablet or laptop computer wirelessly using Bluetooth or Apple's AirPlay technology. The cocoon shape of the chair helps isolate the surrounding sounds, ensuring visual privacy at the same time.
  2. Pivot Screen from Turnstone, Steelcase: Part privacy partition and part whiteboard, Pivot is a rare office accessory that supports multiple work scenarios in office spaces, bringing teams together and helping them move apart throughout the day. The upholstered side is available in three sound-absorbent fabric families while markerboard laminate side comes in standard finish.
  3. Focus from Schiavello: Designed by Australian designer Nick Tennant, Focus absorbs the outside noise while shielding the user and enabling privacy.
  4. Moss Wall from Verde Profilo: Launched in 2009, Moss Wall is the innovative way to incorporate indoor vertical gardens with zero maintenance required. Verde Profilo's patented system is designed to create a natural wall, at comes in 23 different colours.
  5. Step This Way carpet collection from Interface: This range is part of Look Both Ways collection, which consist of both carpet tiles and LVT patterns, allowing designers to mix and match and create both playful and Zen-like landscapes in infinite ways.

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