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Why You Need to Soundproof Your Commercial Office Space

20 December 2022

If you've ever worked in a shared office space, you know how noise can be a problem. No one wants to hear the constant chatter from people, printers whirring, or phones ringing all day long. It's distracting, and uncomfortable and makes it difficult to concentrate.

Soundproofing your office can help create a more peaceful and productive environment.

Luckily, there are many different ways to soundproof your office, so you can find the solution that works best for you. In this article, we will discuss the basics of soundproofing and some of the most effective methods. We will also discuss how noise affects productivity, the benefits of soundproofing your office, and some tips on getting started. Keep reading to learn more!



Common Sound Issues In Office Spaces

In any office, there are bound to be some sound issues. Usually, these manifest as either too much noise or not enough privacy.

A few of the common issues include:

Distractions from Outside: traffic noise, construction noise, or simply the sound of people walking by. Additionally, weather conditions such as wind or rain can also get a little loud.

Distractions from Coworkers: People talking loudly on the phone, typing away on their keyboards, or just general office chatter overheard from neighboring cubicles or offices.

Echoing and reverberation: Particularly if the space is large and has hard surfaces (such as concrete floors and walls). Echoing sounds and reverberation can make it difficult to hear people speaking, which can lead to miscommunications and may also amplify background noises.

Noise from Office Equipment -constant low-level noise from printers, copiers, fax machines, computers, and HVAC systems.

Lack of privacy: many offices struggle with soundproofing between rooms. This can be a particular problem in open-plan offices, where it can be hard to find a place to make a private phone call or have a confidential conversation.

By being aware of these common noise issues, office managers can take steps to mitigate them and create a more comfortable and productive work environment for their employees.



How Does Noise Affect Productivity in the Workplace?

Noise is one of the most common environmental hazards in the workplace. Prolonged exposure to loud noise can cause hearing loss, tinnitus, and other health problems. In addition, noise can also be a major distraction, making it difficult to concentrate on tasks and communicate with co-workers.

In fact, one study found that employees who were exposed to background noise made more errors and were less efficient in their work than those who worked in a quiet environment.

Again, noise can also lead to increased stress levels and anxiety, which can further impact productivity and general health.

A study found that prolonged exposure to 85 decibels of sound (the equivalent of the noise from a noisy restaurant or open office floor plan) can increase someone's risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular diseases.

While it's impossible to completely eliminate all noise in any environment, soundproofing can help reduce the noise level to a more manageable and healthy level.



Cost-Effective Ways To Soundproof and Reduce Noise in an Office Setup

There are a few different ways to soundproof your office space, and the best method will depend on the layout of your office and the level of noise you're trying to reduce. If you're unsure where to start, here are a few tips on soundproofing your office space.

Note: The first step in soundproofing your office space is to identify the source of the noise (discussed earlier). Once you've identified the source, you can begin taking steps to reduce or eliminate them.

Install Sound Absorbing Materials

These materials help absorb sound waves and reduce the amount of noise reflected into the room. They also create a barrier that will reduce the amount of noise that enters or leaves a room.

Some common sound-absorbing materials include

Acoustic panels: These panels are made of acoustic foam designed to absorb sound waves. By absorbing or deflecting sound waves, acoustic panels can help reduce reverberation and echo (up to 80%), improve clarity, and increase the overall sound quality of a room. Acoustic panels are also relatively easy to install and come in various sizes and styles to suit any office. They add a touch of class to your décor,

and best of all, they're relatively affordable, making them a cost-effective way to soundproof an office.

Carpets, Foam mats, and rugs- Hard floors amplify sound, so covering them with carpet or an area rug is an easy way to reduce noise. In addition, they also eliminate floor impact sounds, provide warmth and make your office a little cozier.

Hang some curtains or drapes. What can you do to soundproof your windows? A crude option would be to board them up and say goodbye to the little sunshine and ambient light that make things less gloomy. But since that's unhealthy –Why not try some acoustic curtains?

They have the same 80% effectiveness as acoustic panels. Plus, they are cheaper, and you can hang them without the help of a professional. The only drawback is if you have too many windows and doors to cover. Curtains also provide visual privacy if you're working in an open space.

Soundproofing paint: Although it cannot eliminate all noise, it can help block out mid-range frequencies. These are the frequencies that are most commonly produced by human speech.

Getting Sound-Friendly Furniture and Being Creative with Storage

Believe it or not, the right furniture can actually help reduce noise levels in your office.

Heavy, solid pieces of furniture easily reflect sound waves, while light, soft, airy furniture absorbs them.

In general, you want to avoid anything made entirely of wood, metal, or plastic, as these materials tend to amplify sound rather than reduce it. Instead, opt for pieces and office chairs upholstered in thick fabric or padded with foam.

Not only does upholstered furniture help to absorb sound, but it can also add a touch of style to the working area.

In addition, filing cabinets and other tall furniture can also be used as makeshift sound barriers. By placing these items around the perimeter of a room or against a shared wall, you can create a buffer between your office and a noisy neighboring setup.

Add Some Greenery

Have you ever noticed how being in a forest is so much quieter than being in a city? That's because all those trees and plants are helping to absorb sound. Plants with rough barks and fleshy leaves are particularly effective at absorbing sound due to their larger surface area. The Rubber Plant, Areca Palm, and Money Tree are all excellent examples of plants that can help to reduce noise levels in your home or office.

Sound Masking

Sound masking is a type of noise-cancellation technology that can be used to reduce the intrusiveness of noise in an environment. This is achieved by creating a background noise that covers up the sounds of speech and other distracting noises. This can be accomplished in several ways, but one common method is to use white noise generators. White noise is a type of noise that is evenly distributed across all frequencies. This makes it effective at masking other sounds because it creates a sort of "blanket" of sound that can cover up speech and other noises.

As a result, sound masking can be an effective way to reduce overall noise levels and improve acoustic privacy in office environments and other public spaces like large open workplaces, call centers, and areas where vital and confidential conversations take place, such as medical, dental, legal, and financial services.

Implement Office Policies

Another way to reduce noise in an office is to implement policies that limit the amount of noise that is made. For example, you could have a policy that prohibits talking on the phone loudly or having personal conversations in common areas, encouraging employees to use headphones when listening to music or making phone calls, designating quiet zones in the office that can provide employees with a place to focus on their work without interruption.

Noise from Equipment

If you find yourself constantly competing with loud equipment like printers or copiers, there are a few things you can do:

First, locate the noisy equipment as far away from your workspace as possible. This will help reduce the direct exposure you have to the noise.

You can also try using sound-damping pads underneath the equipment or try to create a barrier between you and the source of the noise. If your desk is next to a printer, you might put a bookcase or partition (acoustic panel) between you and the machine.

Purchase quieter models of printers, copiers, and other machines. Always check the decibel levels of the different devices.

Invest in a good pair of earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. These can help to muffle the sound and make it more bearable.

But if you're looking for a more permanent solution to soundproofing your office space, consider installing soundproof walls or ceilings. Soundproofing walls and ceilings can be expensive, but they are an effective way to reduce noise in your office space.



Creating a Quiet Office Space: Conclusion

Noise in the office is a common problem, but it doesn't have to be an issue.

So, what does this mean for your business? The answer is simple – you need to soundproof your office space. Noise-induced distractions can cost businesses hundreds of dollars every year in lost productivity. Not to mention studies have shown that excessive noise levels can lead to health problems like high blood pressure and heart disease. Don't let your business fall victim to these issues – take action now!

If you need help getting started, our team at Flexispot is here to provide guidance and recommendations for creating an ergonomic workspace that's comfortable and quiet.