When choosing an office space, it is important to pay attention to the acoustics in the office. This is extremely important for achieving peace and quiet for employees. It undoubtedly affects their level of efficiency as well as work comfort. Providing employees with appropriate working conditions, including a space that allows for silence and concentration, is an employer’s obligation. What should the acoustics in the office look like? What should you pay attention to and what solutions should you apply to improve office acoustics?
The acoustics of office spaces – why is it so important?
Proper acoustics in the office are the basis of employee comfort and should be considered in every office arrangement. Just like lighting or temperature, it directly affects their well-being, as well as has a real impact on the level of focus and concentration on a specific task. That is why conceptual ergonomics also emphasizes the role of acoustics. According to studies, sound at the level of 55-60 dB discourages office workers from starting a difficult task. This problem was noticed by two researchers as early as 1996.
Tang and Chan identified the problem of deteriorating work quality with increasing noise. Too much sound intensity has a negative effect on well-being, causing general irritation, excessive fatigue, stress, and decreased productivity. It’s no wonder that conversations from behind the wall, passing cars, or the sound of opening doors, printers or coffee machines can be heard in the office. Poor acoustics in the office also makes communication between employees more difficult, which can lead to many unnecessary frustrations and misunderstandings.
Acoustics in the office – how to improve it?
In Polish building law, there are only a few regulations concerning acoustics in construction, and none of them guarantee acoustic comfort. The issue of office acoustics should be considered at the very beginning of the process, i.e., during its selection. The key issue is the location of the office. Despite the use of many innovative methods, if the source of noise is very close, even the best solutions may not work. Therefore, it is worth avoiding old tenement houses or buildings located close to the tram line. Annoying noise will then be more difficult to muffle, which may involve additional costs.
Improving room acoustics is not an easy task. This is especially problematic if it concerns an open space.
Large spaces, by design, have worse acoustics than smaller ones. The easiest way is to change the flooring and wall covering materials. These spaces are crucial for acoustics because they reflect the most sound. A commonly used solution is to use furniture with increased sound absorption and to supplement the interior with sound-absorbing and isolating screens. Such solutions are becoming an increasingly popular choice. Sound-absorbing floor-to-ceiling partition walls are not only a way to soundproof, but also give the impression of a separate space, which promotes concentration. Simple solutions will also work – shelves filled with books or curtains will also serve as sound-absorbing materials.
Improving acoustics in an office – innovative solutions
In open-space offices and beyond, it’s often hard to find peace and quiet. To meet the needs of employees, acoustic booths and telephone booths for offices have been created. This is a perfect solution for anyone who needs a place that allows them to fully concentrate. These types of boxes are made from soundproof materials, so we don’t have to worry about anyone disturbing us. This is also a solution in situations where a private phone conversation is necessary, confidential exchange of opinions with a business partner, or brainstorming in a group.
Acoustic booths come in various forms. There are those that accommodate only one person (such as Call Spot i Work Spot), but there are also cabins that can accommodate even several people, so they can be used in a variety of ways. Examples of such booths include Talk Spot S and Talk Spot M. There are also conference rooms that will make business meetings or team meetings take on a different dimension – an example of such a booth can be Talk Spot L. Acoustic booths and telephone booths are an innovation that provides comfort and a sense.