5 Reasons Every Workplace Must Have Good Acoustic Design

When designing a workplace, there are a multitude of factors to consider – lighting, layout, furniture, and technology, to name just a few. However, one crucial element that’s often overlooked is acoustic design – to quote Julian Treasure: Sound affects us psychologically, cognitively and behaviourally, even though we’re not aware of it.

So, ensuring every workspace has good acoustics is so essential due to the significant positive effects on employee productivity, health, and wellbeing – here is a shortlist of the key reasons every workspace must consider acoustic design: 

1. Reduce Distractions
Excessive noise levels can be a significant distraction in the workplace, hindering the ability of employees to concentrate and complete tasks efficiently. Good acoustic design will reduce noise levels, reduce distractions and enhance employee focus. After all, we know that it takes 23 minutes for any worker to return to focus after becoming distracted – and a study by British Journal of Psychology report a 66% decrease in workspace productivity due to noise in the workplace. Eliminating distractions with considered application of acoustuc materials is therefore a must and should never be just a ‘nice-to-have’.


2. Improve Productivity
When employees are distracted or stressed due to noisy surroundings, their productivity levels can suffer. This is confrimed by many different studies, one recent one states that good acoustic design will boost motivation by 57%, and help up to 49% of employees feel happier at work.

This is in addition to the lost productivity due to distractions as discussed previously. 

3. Enhance Communication
Effective communication is paramount in any workplace, and good acoustic design can help to facilitate this. Effective sound insulation between rooms, for example, can prevent noise from one space from travelling into another, while acoustic panels will reduce echo and reverberation, making it easier for employees to communicate with each other. There’s nothing worse than a poorly treated meeting room with open ceilings, glass curtain glazing and partitioning and shiny floors – these spaces are a haven for noise transmission and reverberation, both of which decrease the ability to receive and decipher the sounds that matter, therefore stifling communication.
On the contrary, implementation of acoustic materials will ensure unwanted noise is soaked up and stopped from creating a problem.
4. Protect Employee Health
Prolonged exposure to high levels of noise can have a detrimental effect on employee health, leading to fatigue, hearing damage, and even mental health issues. Good acoustic design can help to control noise levels and protect employee wellbeing.
Also, its important to consider the agile nature of today’s workforce – its no longer ok to create a nice acoustic space in one neighbourhood within the floorspace – every work setting has to have acoustics applied in such a way that it works for the way the space is intended to be used. That way, employees can use spaces as they are to be used – and no longer suffer the health problems that can come from extended exposure to ill-acoustically-designed work zones and settings.
5. Increase Privacy
In many workplaces, privacy is a key concern – for example, in open-plan offices, employees may feel uncomfortable making phone calls or having conversations without some degree of acoustic insulation. Good acoustic design can help to provide a sense of privacy, enabling employees to communicate without worrying about being overheard.
This can take place in the form of acoustic booths dersigned for one-person calls. Or acoustic sliding panels that can cfreate zones that are able to be opned up again once done with. Suspended acoustic screens are another fantastic product that create acoustic neighbourhoods and zones to support privacy without creating a permanent cellular office!
In conclusion, good acoustic design should be an essential consideration in every workplace. By reducing distractions, enhancing productivity, improving communication, protecting employee health, and increasing privacy, good acoustic design can help to create a more positive and productive working environment. So whether you’re designing a new workspace or looking to improve the acoustics of an existing one, don’t overlook the crucial role that good acoustic design can play.
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