Office spaces are not what they used to be. Today’s more progressive companies are taking advantage of this new open office floor plan to improve communication, encourage idea sharing, remove the feeling of an oppressive hierarchy among employees, and increase overall productivity.
While this type of setup may sound like a fun and social utopia, it does come with its downsides, one of which is noise pollution. Studies show that too much noise is tied to lowered cognitive ability, which can severely reduce productivity and increase stress. In fact, a study from the University of Sydney revealed that a lack of sound privacy was the top frustration among employees.
Fortunately, there are several effective solutions. If your open office plan is hindering your employees’ ability to concentrate, it might be time to consider any number of these options.
- A dedicated quiet space
The open floor plan is great for collaboration, but when it comes time to work on a task of your own, you might find it hard to work around so much noise and commotion. It’s times like these you wish you had your own separate office, or at least your own little cubicle to retreat to. A dedicated quiet workspace like an empty conference room makes a great sanctuary for workers who need some alone time.
- Acoustic building products
There actually exist acoustic building products for ceilings like ceiling clouds and acoustic ceiling panels that combat noise pollution. There are also acoustic wall coverings like soundproof wall panels. These sound-absorbing coverings and panels come in some pretty cool designs and colors that will look just like art or intended decor.
- Noise-friendly flooring
Some hard surfaces like wood, ceramic, and porcelain can amplify noise pollution, wreaking havoc on your work environment. For noise reduction, try carpet or vinyl flooring. They are great for absorbing sound.
There’s no such thing as a silent office. As long as people are around, there will be chatter, the clacking of fingers on a keyboard, and the occasional phone ringing. And, honestly, would you want it any other way? If your office was silent, wouldn’t you worry that nothing was getting done?
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