When designing your office to maximise productivity, there should always be a focus on minimising noise pollution where possible. This silent concentration killer has been linked to increased anxiety, high blood pressure, heart disease and strokes, whilst also affecting cognitive function. The heightened stress caused by noise pollution can result in impaired learning and memory, so keeping the noise levels to a minimum in the office is a must.
Luckily, there are ways you can design your office to maximise productivity, which in turn, stops those pesky noise levels from creeping higher. When the volume is controlled, you can expect motivation levels and overall staff happiness to be at an all time high. Result!
Staying sane in a loud office can be tough, but there’s no need to put a complete stop to healthy office buzz. For those that would like to take a quiet minute away from the hustle and bustle, incorporate a chilled office relaxation room or quiet zone into your office design. By using zones for separate tasks, it makes it much easier to remain focused.
Offices that hold mindfulness at their core are sure to succeed, and it’s important to recognise that individuals prefer to work in different ways. Providing an area that values peace and quiet could be just what some members of staff need to boost concentration. Be sure to kit out quiet zones with plenty of grounding activities, calming plants, comfortable furniture, and don’t forget to use sound absorbing materials to keep the noise out!
Collaborative break out areas
Similar to how an office design should include spaces that provide some alone time, there should also be areas that allow for energetic staff collaboration. Take inspiration from Adama’s office refurbishment; here we used a modern, open-plan office design that featured plenty of meeting rooms and meeting pods – perfect for brainstorming sessions! By separating these teamwork areas away from the rest of the office, it avoids risk of distraction without compromising on design.
Sound absorbing materials
Choose from a variety of soundproofing materials to make sure that your office is properly protected against the noise. For collaborative zones, you may wish to section off the area from the rest of the office using acoustic glass, panels and soundproof doors, to name a few methods. Take a look at our Sys Group office redesign project to see what this could look like in your own workspace.
You might not think it, but using soft furnishings has been thought to block out sounds by reducing reverberation. Basically, the less an object vibrates, the quieter the sound will be. For harder objects that can’t be replaced, place pillows and throws on top of seating to reduce the impact.
Another strange sound blocker that may not be the first thing that comes to mind are plants. The biophilic office has been a massive office design trend of 2021, so you won’t need to compromise on aesthetics! Plants act as natural soundproofers due to their dynamic surface area, refracting sound waves, deflecting noise and absorbing sound all at the same time. This calls for a plant wall!
Smart desk set-up
COVID-19 has changed our world in several ways, but something that has stuck with us is the idea of social distancing. It wasn’t uncommon for office workers to be tightly packed into an office like sardines, heavily distracted by desks that are a little too close to them. Bringing it back to the modern day, many people perhaps value personal space much more than they once did. This has altered the future of office design, as business owners seek to transform their workplaces to maximise productivity and improve concentration.
The best way to do this? Soundproofed desk dividers. Not only will they make staff feel as though they have their own personal space, these handy dividers use absorbing materials to prevent sound travelling.
By also moving desks further away from each other and giving employees the freedom to move between spread out desks and separate booths, noise levels will drop considerably.
Printers, shredders, and even your office dishwasher are all culprits when it comes to distracting members of staff. To make the best use of your workspace, remove noisey equipment from the main areas of the office into their own separate zones. Although they can be annoying, we all need them to do our jobs efficiently. Just think carefully about whether to use soundproofed walls or furniture to protect the surrounding area.
Are you struggling with creeping noise levels in your workplace? Our office design professionals are on hand to have a chat and provide all the advice you need to bring the peace back. Give us a call today to kick off your office refurbishment project.