The impact of sound in an office
Office acoustics can be a real challenge. And with staff returning to work as the Covid-19 pandemic subsides, there will be an increase in video conferencing instead of face to face meetings, which will increase the noise. Some office spaces need to be buzzy and invite conversation, some need privacy to inspire focus, and others need to feel relaxed and welcoming. So how can you balance the acoustics of your office to create a healthy, comfortable place where people want to work?
How noise affects health and productivity
When designing an office space, noise levels are a vital consideration because they are not easily corrected post-construction. In a recent Leesman report , 74.6% of survey respondents ranked noise levels as one of the most important physical factors of an effective workplace. Noisy offices were considered the lowest in overall satisfaction, and less than a third of workers said they felt happy with their current office acoustics.
But distracting noise isn’t just annoying, it’s bad for our health. Office distraction directly impacts stress levels, the amount of sick leave taken, employee turnover rates, and even the speed and accuracy with a task can be performed.
The statistics are even worse for open plan offices. Workers in open plan offices are 15% less productive — and they have more difficulty focussing, losing up to 20 minutes of concentrated work time per day.
How can acoustics make people want to work in your office?
Acoustic adjustments can completely transform an office. According to analysis by Dr David Sykes , implementing acoustics in an open plan office creates: