Top ways to reduce noise in the workplace
Noise interference is a common problem in the workplace – studies show a significant loss of productivity through this issue, as well as having a detrimental effect on staff wellbeing and attendance.
There are, however a number of different solutions you can employ in dealing with noise pollution in your workplace – here are a few options to consider:
Establish dedicated loud & quiet zones
Organise your workplace space to establish dedicated zones. Keep areas with noisy equipment such as printers and copiers, in isolated spaces. Areas such as cafeterias, common or ‘break out’ rooms, kitchens and dedicated meeting rooms should also be acoustically isolated from the general workspace.
In establishing specific areas to contain the noisy activities, so should you do likewise for dedicated quiet zones. Staff may need areas in which they can concentrate on complex tasks without distraction, so allocate certain rooms or spaces specifically for that purpose, where no conversation or other activity is allowed.
Customise your furniture
Select office furniture that contributes to noise reduction. Furniture manufactured in noise-deadening materials and seating furniture with noise control devices such as privacy panels and soft upholstery fabrics that absorb noise, are typical options to consider.
Use sound deadening features on ceilings
Many workplaces have ceilings designed for their architectural or aesthetic values – perhaps unfinished concrete or real wood panelling. As attractive to look at as these may be, they are not necessarily effective in controlling workplace noise, often reflecting and distributing sound rather than absorbing it.
One solution is to fit free-hanging units from the ceiling – these can be panels manufactured in complementary materials but contain sound deadening fabric. Utilising these panels can maintain your desired appearance whilst also helping to control office noise at the same time.
Carpets and flooring systems
Fitted carpets will naturally help contain certain noise – footfall and pedestrian traffic for example but will not necessarily help in containing office conversation or other noise factors. An option is to fit additional mass elements underneath the carpets such as shredded rubber mats or similar materials. Likewise, if you prefer the look of hard floors in your workplace, you can fit floating floors, which lay on top of the existing floor structure without using fasteners which transmit sound.
Indoor plants absorb sound in open spaces
Perhaps not an obvious solution to workplace noise but installing indoor plants will improve air quality and promote a sense of wellbeing in your staff, as well as preventing sound waves from reverberating around open spaces.
Acoustic doors can be the most effective solution
One of the most effective solutions in dealing with workplace noise is the fitting of acoustic doors. These doors can be manufactured in a range of different decibel level controls, offering a choice of acoustic doors to fit your specific environment.
Choose a door manufacturer or supplier with the Quiet Mark accreditation to ensure you are fitting the best quality. These acoustic fire doors are supplied as complete doorsets with frames and all appropriate door furniture.
One consideration is to choose to install acoustic fire doors – in addition to the valuable noise control benefits, these doorsets also offer the vitally important benefit of fire safety for the protection of your staff and work premises. These acoustic fire door sets can be finished with a range of different facings to complement your office décor and, where appropriate, are fitted with the approved and certified protective glazing panels.
Installing acoustic doors adds both an attractive and practical element as part of your overall noise reduction and control solution for your workplace.