In many cases, noise in office environments and corporate settings can be incredibly distracting. Where open plan office layouts are designed to be stimulating, invigorating and provide the perfect setting for collaboration, they also come with a new set of challenges, including noise pollution and workplace noise disruption.
Between loud phone conversations, aggressive keyboard typing, and the incessant noise of office machinery, the constant noise in office environments can create a disruptive and unproductive setting. Thankfully, there are a number of different ways (apart from noise-cancelling headphones) to reduce exposure to noise at work.
If you’re an employer looking for ways to reduce noise in office environments, you’ve come to the right place. At Epic Office Furniture, we design both sound-absorbing furniture pieces and acoustic panels to reduce the noise in office environments and decrease the overall sound pollution while you’re working. We’re a team of office furniture specialists who understand the importance of a productive, efficient and functional office space.
Whether you work in a small office, an open-plan start-up or a large commercial space, here are eight simple ways to reduce noise in office environments:
1. Design a Noise Friendly Office
If you have the privileges of designing an office space or the opportunity to undergo office renovations, start by creating a space that will be noise friendly. Flooring is a substantial acoustic element to consider – hard flooring surfaces like natural wood, porcelain and ceramic can wreak havoc within an office due to the enormous amount of noise pollution they create. Carpet and vinyl flooring offer versatile alternatives that are noise friendly and reduce the reverberation of sound within any commercial space.
Designing a noise friendly office means considering the flooring materials, the insulation of the building and the general layout of the office. On top of considering your flooring materials, installing sound insulation material is a very effective solution for noise reduction and absorbing those harsh, jarring walking noises. Office layout also plays a huge role in how sound travels, where loud noises come from, and how it can be combatted for employees to not be exposed.
2. Create Designated Meeting Rooms
Creating a designated meeting or conference room is a crucial step to implementing noise control measures in the workplace. By having an area or room that is segregated from the rest of the office, you can be sure that all brainstorming, discussions and presentations can occur without disrupting the entire office space. A designated conference room is a crucial feature of a functional office and is imperative to holding successful meetings, hosting important guests and keeping the rest of the office productive.
3. Using Portable Room Dividers
Where old-school cubicles left off, portable room dividers have taken over. Portable room dividers and mobile partitions are excellent ways to reverberate sound and absorb the loud noises employees make while working. Room dividers and office screens will not only provide privacy and seclusion for areas within an office but will absorb sound and reduce noise pollution from office equipment and external sounds. What’s more, portable room dividers are great ways to create a flexible workplace that can be adapted and moved to suit various requirements throughout the workday.
4. Install Desk Dividers
In large open offices, workstations with 2-10 employees are pretty standard. If you’re finding that these workstations are not conducive to a productive day’s work, consider installing some desk dividers. Employers can reduce noise levels in an office by creating private desk spaces with acoustic desk dividers. While desk dividers are relatively low-level, they have proven to be incredibly effective at separating employees and reducing overall office and desk noise.
5. Incorporate Quiet Pods
Similarly to creating designated meeting rooms, sectioning off areas or designing specific quiet pods is a fantastic solution for large offices with lots of noise. A solution implemented by large companies like eBay, quiet pods or “think rooms” provide a small, private sanctuary for employees to really knuckle down and give their undivided attention to a project or task without the disruption or exposure to noise at work.
6. Install Acoustic Panels
In the modern workplace, acoustic panels are a fundamental aspect of design and functionality. Acoustic panels help to improve sound ergonomics, allowing employees to talk freely without the risk of disturbing others. Acoustic panels are sound absorbers, making an office environment, and the noises generated less harsh and much more comfortable.
Acoustic panels can be placed on walls, ceilings and around the office. Ranging from wall panels to hanging panels and 3D panels, acoustic screens work by absorbing sound, reverberating and softening noise pollution in large spaces.
7. Office Planters
One way to reduce employee exposure to noise at work is by bringing in office plants. Indoor plants can help combat noise pollution, as they are naturally sound absorbent. Well-placed plants have proven very effective in providing noise control measures in the workplace, particularly in open and large office spaces. Generally speaking, the more plants and the bigger the office planters, the better. Not only can employers reduce noise levels in an office by placing plants in the office, but some greenery will also work to improve commercial aesthetics and provide freshening, air-cleaning qualities.
8. White Noise
Employers can reduce noise levels in an office by playing white noise or background noise to combat the harsh sounds made within the office. Using background noise, or white noise is a proven noise reduction strategy in open and large office spaces. Playing ambient noise in the background at a consistent level has proven to help soften unwanted and jarring sounds. Some proven forms of background noises include rainfall and ‘waves crashing on the beach’ soundtracks.
Well, there you have it – 8 proven ways to reduce noise in office environments. Whether you run a small local business, a growing start-up or are managing the floor of corporate space, these acoustic features and tools are fantastic for keeping noise pollution down and keeping employees happy at work.
At Epic Office Furniture, we offer a wide range of products and office furniture items that offer acoustic elements that reduce noise in office environments. Exposure to noise at work can be disruptive, distracting and ultimately, create an unproductive environment. At Epic Office, we’re here to improve the functionality of your office and enhance your day to day experience at work. Tackle those pesky noise disruptions by implementing these noise control measures in the workplace with Epic Office Furniture today.