Employees in a meeting

Whether it’s a meeting, calling a client, workplace small talk, or work-related discussions, noise is a regular (and unavoidable) part of any office. While noise could be equated to a busy (and well-functioning) office, too much noise can negatively impact everyone in the office, and the office’s operations as a whole. Loud and disruptive noises can bother other working employees, and even the clients they’re calling/talking to. Ultimately, this leads not only to lowered productivity, but possibly increase employee stress and can lead to issues in the office itself.  That said, it’s best for a company to consider these noise reduction tips to improve workflow, productivity, and harmony:

Start From the Ground Level (Literally)

First off, consider your choice of flooring. Wood, ceramic, porcelain floors have poor sound absorption and can contribute to the noise pollution in the office. In an office where clients and staff constantly walk to and fro, hard floors end up making an annoying amount of noise that is simply not conducive for working. That said, you should choose carpet or vinyl floors, or add sound-absorbent floor padding to reduce noise pollution — plus, it can make the office floor look more professional.

Put Up a Quiet Room/Section

You have to accept the fact that, even with all the noise reduction solutions in place, there will be times that noise can’t be avoided — perhaps there’s a meeting, or a party in the office. That said, having a quiet room for employees, or one-on-one talks with clients and other workers can be a great addition. Your quiet room/section should be soundproofed. A cheaper alternative would be to have a sound-proof/absorbent private pod or cubicle that’s sound-proofed where meetings of high or low importance can be made.

Designated Loud Rooms/Zones

You should consider conference rooms not only as a venue for certain individuals to privately converse and discuss, but should also be treated as a designated area for loud discussions and exchanges of ideas. That said, teams and stakeholders should be instructed to discuss and converse in conference rooms or designated loud zones, even if what they’re discussing isn’t confidential or private, as meetings in the office floor can be very loud and disruptive.

Sound-proofed Work Stations

Your office may have staff that constantly talk to or call clients, partners, and other stakeholders, and produce a lot of noise that can disrupt other employees in the office. As such, consider adding activity based working stations that provide both privacy and soundproofing for staff and users that make a lot of noise when performing their designated tasks.

Ambient Noise

This tip can basically be summed up with the adage, “fighting fire with fire”, or in this case, noise with noise. Having speakers in the office playing ambient (white) noise such as rainfall, waves, and the like, can help negate and mask unwanted noise.

Plants

Indoor plants can help lighten and spruce up the office, and improve air quality, as well as employee demeanor and morale. Luckily, indoor plants can also aid in absorbing unwanted noise. So, if you’re looking for a cheap and multi-purpose way of reducing noise in the office, adding plants can be a good option – just make sure it isn’t something that can cause allergies, or is hard to maintain.

Finish on Top

People sitting on chairs in the office

It’s not only the floor that needs sound-proofing, but also the ceiling. Having noise-reducing/sound-absorbing ceiling tiles can go a long way to prevent voices and sounds from reverberating all over the office, and effectively minimizing the noise.

Conclusion

Noise may be a sign of a busy and thriving office, but it’s still best to find ways to reduce noise pollution as it can negatively impact everyone in it, which is why it’s recommended for you to take note of these noise reduction tips to make your office a lot more conducive and comfortable to work in.

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