The Importance of Good Office Space Acoustics
PET felt is a sound suggestion to improve noise levels in the workspace
Designers on a full workplace fit-out will generally be aiming for a ‘feel’ that complements the three primary senses – visual (sight), kinesthetic (touch) and auditory (sound).
As individuals, we filter MILLIONS of pieces of sense data every second in various different ways. As such, it is no surprise people respond differently to their setting – some concentrate more on how things look, others on the physical feel of materials and others on the sounds around them.
For those auditory individuals, the modern workspace can prove a challenging environment. The trend for open-plan offices not only aids communication and collaboration but also enables enhanced ventilation and access to swathes of natural light.
However, there is a by-product of such interactive, shared space – noise.
Research has suggested only 30% of office occupants are happy with the noise level in their workplace, while a British Journal of Psychology study revealed ‘irrelevant’ noise reduces job satisfaction, boosts stress and disrupts work.
"There is a by-product of such interactive, shared office spaces - noise"
Not all noises are the same
So, noisy workplaces can lead to low productivity, staff turnover and absenteeism. But not all sounds are ‘unwanted’ noise, according to a report by the World Green Building Council. Having too quiet a workspace can be perceived by employees as being eerie, so the levels of acoustic will vary depending on the kind of activities being carried out in the office and the office culture.
Excellent acoustic design and material will help absorb noise to:
- Lessen disturbance
- Improve communication among teams
- Allow employees to concentrate better on complicated, concentrated tasks
In open-plan office settings, the goal should be to establish a series of canteen or coffee areas, breakout zones, meeting rooms and workspaces with the appropriate level of acoustic absorption. Sound-absorbing PET felt acoustic panels are a go-to option here, designed specifically for the job.
Let your employees discuss and work without feeling they have to whisper to avoid breaching the peace or increase their voices just to be heard.