Without going too deep into the science of room acoustics (this page is worth a read for that) we thought it was worth giving a summary of how noise in the office can reduce your productivity.
There are many sides of this story to look at, but two of the most relevant are comfort and the ease of communication. Improvements in technology and changes to workplace culture mean that workers often have the freedom to work from wherever they like. So the challenge becomes to create offices that people would choose to work in.
If you employ people, why does this matter?
Generally speaking, people who are more comfortable in their workplace, deliver better results. There are many factors in addition to acoustics that make up; this comfort, light and temperature for example. But keeping the noise to an appropriate level for the type of work being done will certainly be appreciated by your team. With the competition for excellent employees becoming ever fiercer, providing a good working environment can form a key part of any employment offer.
It takes 15 to 20 minutes to recover from a distraction when working on a concentrated task (for other office acoustics facts - check our infographic). So to lose an hour of productive work, you only have to be distracted from your task four times a day. In a noisy open plan space, with phones ringing and loud chatter between team members, this can easily happen.
This doesn't mean that all offices should be silent library style spaces. The buzz of the sales team, and the creative energy of productive meetings are important. But adding sound absorbing panels in the right locations can help to contain the sound where it is needed, allowing those who need it, the space to concentrate.
Your team need to be able to communicate, and in a way that ensures a good quality conversation. Meeting rooms with too much echo, offices with high level of background noise, reverberant teleconference set ups; all of these spaces make team communication harder. The addition of acoustic absorbers can dramatically improve the effectiveness of these spaces, so you know the right message gets across, first time. And to our way of thinking, anything that helps mean less time in meetings has to be a good thing!
So, how can we help you improve the acoustics?
Acoustic issues are often caused by a lack of absorption within the room. Modern offices tend to use a lot of hard surfaces and glass. Reflect the sound, rather than letting it die away. As the sound cannot escape the noise level builds, so the team need to talk louder to compensate and maintain communication. This vicious circle continues to raise the sound level, and with it, everybody's stress levels.
Adding our panels allows the sound that reaches them to be absorbed, minimising echo and reducing the noise level. Ideally a combination of Solo and Akusto should be used, close to the point where the sound is created (that'll be the people). Our panels are simple to fit, but if you have any questions, check out our installations pages.
If you have any questions, of course just contact us.
Side note: If your office is a large open plan space, you may also need to think about screening or other sectioning of the space. We wrote a full design guide on this, if you wanted to think about it in more detail.