A loud environment also increases the stress level of many employees
The health and well-being of office workers influence their productivity – this has been the subject of much research. Staff costs, including salaries and benefits, make up a large part of a company’s operating costs. So anything that improves productivity also has a positive financial impact on an employer.
At the same time, most employees work in open-plan offices, which are not very popular, to say at least. 76 % of respondents said that they “hate” open offices. A loud environment also increases the stress level of many employees. As a result, many employees either quit their job or have a burn-out.
Common noises that decrease the well-being of teams
People can only tolerate noise for a certain amount of time before it becomes annoying and bothers them. Many workers work without realizing that noise in the office is affecting their productivity. Some sources of noise are:
→ Excessive background noise from mechanical and technical operations in the office, such as air conditioners, fans, printers, copiers, and even just typing on the keyboard.
→ Loud conversations, laughter, and the ringing of telephones.
→ Activity noises which are caused by loud footsteps, chat notifications, swearing because the PC doesn’t want to do what the employee wants it to do.
→ Outside noises such as road traffic, sirens, trains, and planes. Of course, a certain amount of external noise is completely normal. But too much noise can interfere with concentration and productivity.
→ Use of speakers during a phone call.
When you reduce noise levels, you create a more pleasant environment for employees and customers alike.
4 Benefits of Acoustic Solutions
With all this noise around you, you need to find ways to reduce it to be able to work and deliver convincing results. Acoustic solutions can do a lot for you in the office. We will show you how to reach your acoustic goals.
1. You reduce stress and improve well-being
Open Office noise is one of the most critical factors that stress people at work. A constant information overload, non-stop noise, distractions – all of those points are highly stressful for employees. Moreover, it affects our productivity, stressing us even more. And if the stress is terrible on a day in the office, it can sometimes lead to quarrels and tensions between colleagues.
65% of 1000 UK-based office workers reported in a survey that noise in their workplace significantly impacted their ability to work in an accurate and timely manner. 44 % even stated that the noise affected their overall well-being. 40 % of them felt stressed due to those circumstances.
Noisy environments are one of the biggest complaints about workplaces. A lot of background noise increases stress by interfering with general hearing and concentration. When you reduce noise levels, you create a more pleasant environment for employees and customers alike. By placing some sound-attenuating walls and separators between desks, you can lower the level of noise. You can reach an even higher sound absorption in rooms and open space offices by using acoustic lamps, panels, or prints on the walls. And if you need absolute silence: Soundproof pods can be acoustic shelters. Use them any time you want to escape constant noise and distractions.
2. You provide privacy
A lack of privacy can be stressful, too. In an open space office, everyone sees how we work and what we are doing right at that moment. Hearing our colleagues’ conversations makes us less productive, tires us, and affects our mood. It’s in our nature to feel comfortable only when we have some basic level of privacy. That’s why the privacy issue is the biggest issue of open spaces. According to a survey performed in 2018 in the USA, almost 48% of respondents point it out as a significant problem.
Ease of communication is one of the main benefits of an open-plan office. Yet, it is sometimes necessary for staff to have private conversations. Acoustic panels or pods muffle sound and allow employees to have conversations without being overheard.
With acoustic screens like Wall, you can separate space, keep teams together and absorb the noise around them and their noise just as much, so they don’t disturb other teams around them. Pods will provide solutions with even more options. Move away from everyone to have a quick phone call in Space S or have an effective 1-on-1 in one of our bigger pods.
3. You improve productivity
Plenty of researches show that the easiest way to stay productive is to get rid of distractions and focused only on one thing at a time. However, it isn’t easy:
→ 52 % of respondents say they’re distracted 1-20 per cent of the time during a workday
→ 43 % say they’re distracted 21-75+ percent of the time
→ 5% say they’re never distracted
Lower productivity is often associated with high noise levels because of the increased risk of distractions. Improving acoustics makes it easier for employees to concentrate, make and receive calls, and hold conversations at a comfortable volume without distracting other colleagues.
Using our soundproof pod Space M will fight all distractions. It creates spaces for individual-focused work – Quiet Zones. Also, it has been proven that even a simple change of surroundings could be a good thing to boost your creativity. That’s why you should provide a variety of spaces for your employees.
4. You improve the soundscape and facilitate communication.
Acoustic solutions absorb unwanted sounds such as echoes and noise from the environment and make other sounds clearer. As a result, people in open-plan offices, restaurants, or hotel lobbies can hear and understand each other better.
A 2018 Harvard Business School study found that open-plan offices lead to a 70% decrease in face-to-face communication (Bernstein & Turban, 2018). That’s because even if we talk to each other in an open space, we are not facing each other. Therefore, open office conversations are often “too casual”, shallow and quick. Open office is maybe great for convenient chat, but there is a lot more to talk about at work. More serious, deeper conversations require a level of privacy that only a quiet environment can give you. That way, you can have eye-to-eye conversation without any distractions because the laptop battery is empty or the connection is low.
In that case, you need more than acoustic screens like our Wall or Cone , but a pod that provides enough space for meetings and small conferences. Using Space L or Space XL will provide quiet surroundings in an open space office. Plus, with the constant air flow you won’t risk a headache and tiredness.