Managing noise levels and office acoustics can be tricky but with the right information and acoustic products, you can transform your office into a productive and thriving environment.

Why Managing Office Acoustics is Important

The likelihood of bad office acoustics negatively impacting your employees is quite high. Loss of concentration, reduced productivity, and increased stress are just a handful of ways bad office acoustics can affect workers. Good office acoustics, however, can contribute to a peaceful, quiet, and productive working environment that allows office employees to prosper.

Top Tips for Managing Office Acoustics and Controlling Noise Levels

1. Seating Arrangement

Managing office acoustics - seating arrangement

Plenty of offices already do this but it’s always worth a mention. Creating a seating arrangement based on department can make a big difference to noise levels. Seating people from the same department, as well as similar departments that often collaborate, in close proximity reduces the need for employees to shout across the room to one another or raise their voice to be heard. Reducing the volume levels of conversations will help to reduce the overall noise levels.

2. Dedicated Meeting Rooms

Meetings are a common occurrence in the workplace but many workspaces don’t have a dedicated meeting room, instead opting for discussions in the same room that everyone else is working in. This can become incredibly distracting for people in the meeting as well as people working outside of the meeting. By keeping meetings separate, or at least well divided from the rest of the working office, distractions will be reduced.

If a fully permanent meeting room isn’t an option, there are other ways to keep meetings separate. One way is by using acoustic meeting pods and booths. Meeting pods are a great acoustic solution for offices, they allow for smaller person meetings to take place in private and without distraction. They’re also ideal for virtual meetings! Alternatively, if you don’t have much spare room, an acoustic screen can make a big difference. Acoustic screens can help reduce the transfer of noise on each side, allowing meetings to take place with much less disruption.

3. Acoustic Wall Décor

Office acoustics don’t have to ruin your interior décor, in fact they can do quite the opposite. There are plenty of acoustic solutions for offices out there that are as equally good looking as they are functional.

managing office acoustics - acoustic moss panels

Using décor such as acoustic panels, you can create stunning wall features whilst reducing reverberation and enhancing interior sound quality. Wall panels are an incredibly versatile acoustic solution – bring in an element of nature with a moss panel or add a modern twist with some wooden wall panelling. As an extremely popular acoustic solution, there are plenty of options available!

4. Acoustic Furnishings

Acoustic furnishings are an easy way to incorporate some sound absorbing elements into the office. The addition of soft, comfortable furnishings in breakout areas or meeting rooms can make a big impact on both acoustics and employee comfort.

5. Break Out Areas

Having lunch at your desk has become a normal occurrence but it’s not exactly ideal. Productivity levels generally dip as the day goes on but having a solid break for lunch can help to revive that productivity once again in the afternoon. Along with the dip in productivity, lunch breaks are a time where colleagues can catch up with each other and talk about their weekends etc… but this chatter can easily distract those around them that are still trying to work.

Having a designated area for people to relax, have a chat, eat some lunch and recharge for the afternoon ahead not only promotes productivity later in the day but also reduces noise levels and distractions for those not yet on their breaks.

6. Phone Booths

managing office acoustics - phone booths

Phone booths are one of the best acoustic solutions for offices. Pods and phone booths allow employees to take personal or work calls in private without disturbing the colleagues around them. As phone booths are relatively small and compact, they are perfect even for smaller office that don’t have too much space to spare.

7. Acoustic Screens and Dividers

managing office acoustics - acoustic screens

Acoustic screens are ideal for open plan offices that struggle with overly loud noise levels. The screen creates a barrier that absorbs noise and prevents sound travelling, allowing offices to keep their open and collaborative nature whilst avoiding excessive noise levels. Most acoustic screens are simple to install and easy to take down and relocate if the office layout should change.

Need Help Managing Your Office Acoustics?

If you need a little help from the experts, please feel free to contact a member of the muffle team. We’re always on hand to point you in the right direction or offer expert advice to get you the best acoustic solution for your needs.