Over 85% of employees in open-space offices think these spaces are too noisy *. The noise makes us tired faster, we get nervous, we take a break from work more often, and our breaks are prolonged – our productivity drops by up to 2/3. Unfortunately, in such an atmosphere we are much less resistant to stress and make more mistakes. Research shows that in places where employers have ensured adequate acoustic comfort, the efficiency of their employees has increased by almost 50%. **
How to fight noise in the office?
Conversations in the office, the sound of documents being printed, the moving of a chair – all sound waves that collide with hard surfaces such as windows create a wave of energy, i.e. noise, causing an even greater increase in sounds unpleasant for humans. Is there any way to solve such problems efficiently?
In order to regain control over the acoustics of the room, appropriate measurements should be made, and then materials should be used that dampen and absorb sound waves and prevent voices from spreading around the room. Obviously, getting the right results is not easy, but it is possible. The applied solutions will not make the room silent, but will allow the distractions to be reduced to an acceptable level.
The most popular solutions used in offices to improve acoustic comfort include acoustic panels, screens, ceiling islands and partition walls. These products are often made of felt, special fibers or recycled materials. Special telephone booths where employees can make calls without disturbing the rest of the team are becoming more and more popular. Furniture and floor coverings also have acoustic absorption – sometimes minor changes are enough to make noise less bothersome.
Installations also generate noise
It is not only the users of office spaces that are responsible for generating noise. Often installations can be blamed for the lack of comfortable silence, e.g. ventilation or sanitary installations, that have not been properly insulated. Another problem is not taking into account what impact the building will have on the external environment.
The main sources of noise are most often fans at the inlet and outlet of the central unit, coolers, heaters, dampers, air diffusers (if they are not properly selected), and transport ducts. These devices generate unpleasant sounds in the event of oversizing, improper installation (improper mounting to walls or ceilings, leaks, etc.), and often improper maintenance. It must be remembered that each device has specific operating conditions and should be serviced periodically to maintain its life and optimal operation.
We start good practices with ourselves
AC Group as a company whose mission is based on the slogan “We design comfort”, an enterprise which is aware of and cares about the highest standards, offers measurements of acoustic sound levels in offices in accordance with applicable standards.
Measurements of the acoustic background and the noise level generated by the operation of technical equipment are performed with a professional class 1 sound and vibration analyzer with a class 1 acoustic calibrator.
In our office, we also took care of the highest acoustic standards – we care about perfect communication within the teams and focus on achieving the goals of our partners and clients.
In summary, having the right acoustics means:
• Job satisfaction
• Adequate concentration and communication
• Less stress
• Fewer errors and greater precision
It is not easy to comply with certain standards and to obtain appropriate acoustic parameters, but it is a mandatory element of a modern office and residential investment. The noise from our surroundings will not disappear, but it will be reduced to an acceptable level.
Soon, a continuation of this topic will appear on our blog – people interested in the issue of acoustic comfort are also invited to contact our specialists directly.
* Data Source: Jabra Report, ** Data Source: Rockfon