Have you returned to work and noticed how your office may be a bit louder than you remember? Maybe you’ve gotten so used to working in the comfort of your own home that the extraneous noises of an office – water cooler chatter, computers whirring, people typing, phones ringing, etc. – have become supremely distracting. Workplace efficiency can be reliant upon a quiet, focused work area. To keep yourself and your staff productive, we’ve got several things you can do to silence the sounds.
Noise-cancelling headphones can be helpful for so many reasons. You can listen to your own music, a podcast, or white noise without it affecting your coworkers. They can also help in reducing stressors caused by sensory overload. Your workday will fly by with noise-cancelling headphones, allowing you to stay focused and productive throughout the day.
Dedicated Quiet Spaces
Some offices have started to use dedicated quiet spaces, whether they be airtight conference rooms, quiet “pods,” or soundproofed private office spaces. These allow for employees to have meetings, phone calls, or just a quiet space to work without their noise affecting their coworkers. Being able to have a collaborative meeting in a soundproofed conference room allows for everyone to work harmoniously.
Acoustic Wall Panels
Oftentimes we can’t redesign our entire office. But we can add pieces to help cancel out some of the noise. Acoustic wall panels are a great option for this. They can easily be aesthetically pleasing, as well. Add a pop of color to the space with a paneled wall of greens, blues, or yellows. You could also create a wall with large panels with art or photography on them. If inspirational quotes are your thing, that’s another way to add personality to the space.
When a redesign is possible, you can put in noise-cancelling flooring. This includes underlays and insulation in the floors to allow for sound to be swallowed up, rather than bounced back. If a redesign isn’t possible, you can add large area rugs to louder parts of the office. Area rugs can have an added benefit of preventing slip-and-fall accidents
Workplace White Noise
A great way to create a calm, quiet work environment is to have workplace white noise. This can be pumped quietly through a sound system to keep your employees feeling serene and soothing yet focused and productive. It can either be a true white noise or maybe a low frequency noise, undetectable by human ears, also known as infrasound noise, that the body reacts to subconsciously.
Finally, sound friendly furniture will help immensely to keep your space quiet. High backed couches, ceiling tiles that absorb sound, wall partitions to block unwanted noises, and soft materials like cottons and blends will all help with keeping your office space quieter. They can also create a much warmer environment, pleasing not only the ears and eyes, but the entire body.