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.
'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
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
· 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. www.acousticsatwork.co.uk