Office Acoustics

ne would expect to get maximum productivity out of their staff by making them work in poor light or low temperatures and the same should apply to excessive noise.

"Research identified 'noise' as a likely cause of employee dissatisfaction with the work atmosphere in terms of low motivation to work, reduced performance and irritation." (Ooman, Knowles and Zhao 2008)

Noise can also cause health problems. There are many documented cases of increased blood pressure, stress and fatigue. It has also been suggested that poor acoustics may be a contractor in so-called 'sick building syndrome' 

In the modern workplace, the emphasis is on teamwork, flexibility and communication. For many companies this has meant a move to open plan offices. While this has advantages, it has meant an increase in noise distraction and lack of privacy.  By improving your acoustic environment, you'll be improving efficiency. Workers will be less stressed and more productive.

Sound levels can be managed with a high degree of accuracy, ensuring that productivity levels are met. This can be combatted by a variety of means;

         Plan workspaces so that individuals face away from each other, preferably separated by an acoustic screen.

         Wherever privacy is important, install a highly absorbent acoustic ceiling to stop sound reflecting elsewhere.

         Use acoustic screens made from absorbing and blocking elements, making sure they disrupt line of sight.

         Use acoustic wall panels where sound might reflect off other walls into other work spaces.

Receptions are another problem area hit by bad acoustics. Minimalist, clean lines and hard reflective surfaces play havoc with communication. Talking across the reception desk can be difficult as can phoning in. These problems can be alleviated with a combination of suspended ceiling panels and acoustic wall art while not compromising design.

Acoustic screens may also be placed around office machinery such as printers, copiers and shredders etc. Screening them off controls the sound emitted and also hides them from view.

If you feel that the acoustics in your workplace are causing problems, Lismark Office Products, in association with Acoustics at Work are able to help you pinpoint problems areas in your office and also offer solutions. By assessing the acoustic problems in your workplace, we will immediately identify how serious the problem is. This information is then analysed by an Acoustics specialist who will then recommend the best way forward. This acoustic survey is free of charge and you are under no obligation. Please give us a call on 0116 251 7741. 

With thanks to Acoustics at Work for the information.