Office acoustics

The Overlooked Importance of Office Acoustics

When we think about workplace ergonomics, we typically consider a properly adjusted chair, the right monitor height, ideal lighting, or comfortable room temperature. However, noise reduction, often unfairly overlooked, is also a crucial component.

Acoustic design offers a solution to this problem.

Reduced Sick Leave, Enhanced Performance Scientific studies have shown that an effective work environment requires a space free from echoes, reverberation, and excessive noise.

Open-Plan Offices and Cubicles – Reducing Effectiveness?

Modern open office designs aim to boost productivity by fostering interaction and collaboration among employees. However, in reality, the opposite often happens. A study highlighted the risks of open-plan offices regarding noise pollution: Cornell University’s research supported this, where 40 office workers were exposed to noise levels typical of open-plan offices for three hours.

As a result, participants experienced decreased adrenaline levels, completed fewer tasks, and were significantly less motivated compared to when they worked in a quiet, acoustically optimized environment.

bass trap placed in the cinema room - Office acoustics

Office Acoustics

When envisioning an open-plan office, we typically picture a large space filled with desks and chairs arranged in various configurations, with minimal additional furniture.

In this expansive area, people are conversing, making phone calls, phones are ringing, printers and copiers are running, and air conditioning or air purification systems might also be operating.

Office Acoustic Regulations

From an acoustic perspective, it’s important to note that materials commonly used in office buildings, such as concrete and glass, are excellent at reflecting sound, which further amplifies unwanted noise.

According to office acoustic regulations, a noise level of 45-55 dB is recommended for regular office activities. When this value exceeds the recommended range, worker effectiveness decreases.

The noise level in an open-plan office typically fluctuates between 60-65 dB on average. For reference, two people conversing at a normal voice level from one meter apart produce about 60 dB of noise.

Noise Reduction: A Key Element of Workplace Ergonomics – Acoustics

It’s now evident that working in a noisy environment benefits neither employees nor employers.

Beyond the widely recognized elements of office ergonomics, such as comfortable seating, sound insulation and absorption are gaining importance

office acoustics execution

Improving room acoustics can enhance work efficiency.

In open-plan offices, colleagues work efficiently only when optimal acoustic solutions are in place. The primary focus should be on the proper acoustic treatment of workstations, meeting rooms, and communication areas.

Achieving this requires selecting and positioning sound-absorbing units effectively. Sound-absorbing panels eliminate or filter unwanted echoes, reverberations, and excessive noise in the workplace.

Room acoustics – also for waiting rooms, restaurants

Acoustic treatment can increase effectiveness in many working environments and also provide well-being for the employees, customers, and guests alike.

In addition to offices and meeting rooms, noise reduction and speech comprehension is vital in waiting rooms, concert halls, studio rooms and restaurants as well. With the acoustic treatment we can significantly improve the communication conditions, concentration ability, performance, moreover, stress can be reduced.

Perfect Acoustic is the solution for your company

The speciality of Perfect Acoustic is the room acoustics, the noise reduction in a working environment.

  • Acoustic treatment boosts efficiency in many settings and improves well-being for employees, customers, and guests. Besides offices and meeting rooms, noise reduction and clear speech comprehension are essential in waiting rooms, concert halls, studios, and restaurants. Effective acoustic treatment enhances communication, concentration, and performance while reducing stress.

Open-plan offices have many benefits. It improves cooperation and communication between colleagues, develops the workplace community, which promotes the birth of thoughts and creative ideas. However, continuous background noise has several negative effects on our body. The rustling of office machines, talking to colleagues or the ringing and vibration of telephones, as well as external noises, also adversely affect memory. It is more difficult for us to store information in our memory. No matter how much we focus on the tasks at hand, we cannot rule out the events and sounds taking place around us. With the use of appropriate materials developed specifically for acoustic purposes, noise reduction and ideal acoustic conditions of the office can be successfully solved. High-quality, efficient sound-absorbing acoustic elements have a flexible structure and high density, so they can be a perfect solution for improving the acoustics of offices.

Tips for noise reduction in offices:

1.It is important not to ignore the ceiling surfaces! Be sure to place acoustic elements in these areas as well.
2.Vertical sound-absorbing panels on wall surfaces are extremely effective.
3. Noise can also be reduced with room dividers.
4. It is recommended to place acoustic curtains in front of the windows.
5. The noise reduction of office wheelchairs can be solved with a floor mat.
6. Sound-absorbing ceiling dividers can be used to prevent the propagation of noise.
7. Step noises can be eliminated with a carpet.
8. If possible, do not place the individual workbenches and booths too close to each other.
9. Soundproof rooms are required for important meetings.
10. Soundproofed windows and doors also help to overcome noise issues.

Written by: Róbert Polgár

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