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Get In the Zone: How to Reduce Noise in the Office

Noise in the office can have serious impacts on daily productivity, physical health, and overall mood among employees.

MillerKnoll Ancillary Collaborative Space using furniture to reduce noise in the office

In fact, loud or constant sound can make everyone upset, either out of annoyance, inability to focus, or sheer pain depending on individual sensitivity. From machinery to environmental sound, reducing noise in the office can play an important part in your business’ overall success. Together, let’s go over the effects of a noisy office and how to bring peace into your workplace.

How Noise Impacts the Workplace

Excess noise in the office can create a debilitating, inhospitable environment. While not all office sounds can be shut off, certain noises can impede workplace activity more than others. Some intense sounds—such as construction tools, high heels clacking on tile, loud conversation, or daily machinery—can quickly interrupt employee focus.

What’s worse is how these sounds can affect employee morale, productivity, and overall health. Some side-effects of excessive noise exposure may include but are not limited to:

  • Headaches
  • Migraines
  • Stress
  • Fatigue
  • Increased heart rate/blood pressure
  • Inability to focus
  • Lack of communication

These factors are particularly damaging for individuals who are sensitive to sound or require limited noise to focus. Among these side effects, the worst of all is the potential risk of hearing loss under severely loud work conditions, which can result in more physical and legal issues if employee well-being is neglected.

Tips for Reducing Noise in the Office

Making sure noise in the office is limited and tolerable for employees should be employers’ main focus. Noise can’t be completely removed from the workplace, but ensuring the worst sounds are buffered will ensure the overall health, safety, and productivity of your workforce. Here are some ways that you can reduce noise in the office:

Quiet Spaces

Some employees need absolute quiet to achieve their best work. When separate offices aren’t an option, try installing soundproof pods to reduce noise in the office! Compact, clean, and modern in design, these pods have all the amenities needed to conduct private meetings—like built-in monitors and outlets.

Black and ten sound-proof pods in an open office space.
Herman Miller office phone booth pods have soundproofing and advanced technology to allow employees to work quietly without complete isolation.

Furniture Absorption

Furniture makes a great sound buffer to reduce noise in the office. If sounds come from specific areas or vents within the office, it’s easy to strategically move a couch and block the area from emitting noise! In fact, offices with wood or tile flooring creates intense sound that can be blocked with furniture or carpeting, muting steps and making less disruption for employees.

Herman Miller Can Lounge Sofa
Noise in the office can easily be reduced by strategically placing lounge chairs, sofas, and carpeting to buffer sound.

Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels are a great, cost-effective means of reducing noise in the office. Not only are they easy to install, but they’re also quite attractive: coming in a variety of colors, styles, and shapes to suit your company brand. At Office Interiors, we offer a selection of Qwel designer acoustic tiles that make a statement while naturally managing intense sound in your office space. Made with PET fibers and recyclable materials, these acoustic tiles absorb sound waves, enhance interior design, and promote better productivity for your workforce with sustainable, strong paneling.

Qwel™ Acoustic Tiles help decrease noise in the office
Qwel™ Acoustic Tiles use unique fiber technology to soundproof offices while presenting a professional design.

Office Barriers

Whether attached to a desk station or dividing office spaces, sound-dampening barriers or screens can significantly reduce noise in the office without much installation. If your small office space has limited areas for employees to escape from noise, these dampening barriers can help decrease sound. Unlike sound-proof panels, though, these barriers can be moved wherever they’re needed to make work easier for employees.

Knoll Inlet Privacy Screens reduce noise in the office and improve focus.
Knoll Inlet Privacy Screens can be moved to reduce noise in the office anywhere workers need to go.

Noise Reduction with Office Interiors

The key to reducing noise in the office is to consider your employees’ needs and concerns first. As they are the backbone of your business success, ensuring the office is a safe, quiet, and welcoming place for workers to succeed is crucial. Office Interiors understands the value of a quiet office space, and thus offers a selection of sound-proof options to help your business stay productive. Visit our Audiovisual & Technology page today to explore more innovative solutions for your office.

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