Shh! We’re designing offices for well-being
In this article, we share insights on how our acoustic wall and ceiling systems help employees to create, concentrate, and collaborate across modern offices.
Let’s take a look at the four key trends shaping office design today.
Evidence-based office design has proven that employees need flexible spaces that can be easily adjusted for day-to-day work styles, without the need for significant efforts.
Our acoustic solutions easily integrate with the office interior design. You have the freedom to choose in multiple formats, edges, sizes, and colours that futureproof the office space and suit different moods. They are also movable, adjustable, and easy to install, which allow you the flexibility to transform your office based on people’s work functions.
Whilst well-being is already a central tenet of office design, employees will become increasingly aware of what they need, to be at their best. Spaces need to be designed to help people improve their concentration levels, productivity, and speech intelligibility – and with that, biophilic office design has become as important as ever. Meanwhile, privacy needs to be optimised, and mental health should be given more attention.
Our acoustic solutions promote comfort, well-being, and productivity by reducing noise pollution and reverberation in any type of office. In fact, studies have shown that better acoustics can improve productivity by 75%, boost motivation by 57%, and help up to 49% of employees feel happier at work. And our products have been proven to be able to reduce ambient noise by as much as 50%.
Extended scrutiny will be focused on the safety of building materials for office occupiers, in terms of their fire resistance, particle emissions, and cleanability.
Sourced from natural stone, our solutions repel mould and bacteria. They’re durable, fire resistant, easily cleaned and awarded best-in-class indoor climate labels making it easier to keep healthy buildings for happier occupants.
Sustainability will continue to occupy centre stage, with a growing spotlight specifically on product durability and how construction products contribute to a circular economy.
Our products are made of stone wool, which is durable and recyclable. In fact, our acoustic solutions are fully close looped, with more than 90% of our products are Cradle to Cradle Certified® Silver and Bronze.
We’re continuously working to reduce our carbon footprint across our supply chain with a clear direction, vision, and goal.
How to Factor Acoustics into Different Places in Your Office Design
1. Reception Area
The reception area is the first focal point to welcome employees and visitors, setting the tone for the company and the brand.
Great workplace reception design encompasses acoustic comfort, elegance, durability, and simplicity. Importantly, it does not breed the bothersome vocal phenomenon known as the "Lombard Effect". Overall, it capitalises on comfort, natural daylight, and acoustic elegance. Generally, the reception is filled with hard surfaces such as glass, tiles, and stone. It causes sound to reverberate creating a noisy and unpleasant experience.
Creating a positive experience from the moment your customers enter an office is really important. By adding a splash of corporate colour, ensuring a comfortable indoor climate with natural daylight and high sound absorption helps the reception create a welcoming experience.
- Rockfon ® Mono® Acoustic gives a unique design solution with its innovative monolithic surface. It delivers outstanding acoustic comfort and reduces the need for artificial light, due to its high light reflection and light diffusion properties.
- Chicago Metallic™ Matt-White 11 Grid reduces the visual contrasts between your grid and tile giving you an elegant and almost monolithic look.
- Rockfon Color-all® gives you the design freedom to invite 34 exclusive and inspiring colours into your design. It enhances your acoustic comfort and your interior design scheme with a touch of personality.
2. Corridor and Breakout Area
Principally used for navigating to different parts of the building, corridors have a prominent level of footfall. They often become spaces for improvised meetings and conversations. If the noise is not controlled, the sound travels throughout the building and can lead to employees losing concentration.
Hence, it’s important to consider excellent acoustics as well as behavioural and zoning techniques. This combination can help to reduce agitation, caused by conversational talk, while fostering collaboration and communication.
- Rockfon Blanka® comes in a wide variety of dimensions and edges to complement every space. Not only is it our whitest and brightest tile, but it also gives you the best-in-class acoustics.
- Rockfon® Tropic™ is our all-round tile with Class A sound absorption and a smooth white surface. It’s available in a selection of standard edges and dimensions making it a popular and affordable choice.
- Rockfon System Maxispan T24 A,E is suitable for corridors where the grid is suspended from the walls. It can span up to 3m wide, providing possibilities to install and maintain the services.
3. Human-based Office
Acoustics play a key role in fostering well-being in the workplace. While a human-centric office might be designed to facilitate collaboration and group interactions, it’s also important to dedicate spaces to privacy and focus flows. High-performing sound absorption and sound insulation ensure that offices can welcome different working modes.
Perfect for offices, we recommend Rockfon® Universal™ Baffle, Rockfon Eclipse® wall panel, Rockfon Eclipse® island and Rockfon Blanka® Activity. They all provide excellent sound absorption and lots of design flexibility, especially Rockfon Blanka Activity. With the 40mm thickness, this product line ensures the highest sound absorption at low frequencies.
4. Meeting Room
It is important that in a meeting room — especially a large one with lots of people — participants need to be able to hear what is said. Avoiding echo from sound scaping is essential as well as ensuring speech clarity and sound insulation for privacy purposes.
The environment needs to be soundproof, so everybody is able to hear properly. And noise in meeting rooms easily reverberate off hard surfaces so proper sound absorption and sound insulation is vital.
5. Canteen design solutions
A canteen or kitchen is a social space for employees to have an informal chat with each other. It can become terribly busy and noisy at, for example, lunchtimes. The rattle of knives, forks, plates, and glasses hitting the table combined with group conversations can cause noise levels to quickly escalate to an uncomfortable level.
It requires a thoughtful acoustic design that solve the acoustic challenge whilst being durable enough for regular cleaning.
- Rockfon Eclipse® island is our beautiful frameless acoustic island that comes in a variety of geometric shapes. They’re perfect for improving sound absorption while giving a fun or aesthetic design.
- Rockfon® Hygienic™ is our non-hygroscopic and durable ceiling tile perfect for areas required frequent cleaning.
The Right Product in the Right Space
People can’t work and be productive if they can’t concentrate. Well-being is a central tenet of the workspace, and to promote a strong indoor climate, you need great acoustics as much as you need a stunning design. Please have a look at our overview to see what products we recommend for the perfect combination of style and acoustic comfort. This is definitely not an exhaustive list of products that can be perfect for your office, reach out to one of Sales Representatives.