Acoustics at the Office
Good acoustics at the office contributes to the perfect balance between communication, creativity & concentration
Communication is paramount at the office. That is all very well, but a constant whirr of voices, chats among colleagues or loud phone calls can also be really frustrating. Where you have a lot of people working in a relatively small space, disruptive noises are bound to arise. In the long run, poor acoustics within the office can strongly impair employees’ performance and even damage their health. When seen in that light, acoustics in the office becomes a genuine competitive factor; particularly as acoustic disruptions are a distraction in office spaces and put a great strain on the ability to concentrate. A number of sources of sound influences speech intelligibility and quality of the acoustics in the office. Keyboards rattle, air-conditioning units whirr, phones ring, printers clatter, computer fans hum – day after day from morning ’til night.
The continuing trend away from individual office spaces towards teamwork in an open office landscape has immensely amplified noise pollution in the office. Especially in open-plan offices, the multitude of different sound and noise sources demands carefully planned office acoustics, so that employees can work at their desks in peace.
Stop the stress: Reducing office noise through harmonised acoustic solutions
In most cases, the overall acoustics in the office or at individual office workspaces suffers from having been fitted with so-called sound-hard materials. Among these, office acoustics experts include materials such as concrete, glass or smooth plastics, which are used on opposing surfaces such as floors, ceilings, walls or window façades. These materials are unsuitable for sufficiently absorbing impacting sound energies and therefore increase noise reflection. In addition, noise-reflecting furniture items often also have a negative influence on the acoustics in the office and thus contribute to the daily office noise. Here, too, smooth and hard surfaces prolong the reverberation time of a noise source and thus increase a room’s reverberation – and ultimately the noise level of a noise source as well.
Create conversation zones, improve office acoustics
The room acoustics specialist uses the reverberation time measurement as a basis for assessing the room’s acoustic situation. To put it simply, the reverberation time indicates the period that the sound from a noise source needs in order to be no longer audible. The targeted use and even distribution of acoustic elements in the office – for example, by installing wall absorbers or acoustic ceilings to provide the room’s surfaces with soundproofing – the length of the reverberation time can be considerably reduced. The more possibilities for noise absorption there are in the office space, the shorter is the reverberation time. Ultimately, this leads to higher-quality acoustics in the office and a palpable reduction of the noise level. Of course, all measures to improve office space acoustics can also be retrofitted.
Acoustic solutions at the workplace
Additionally, acoustics in the office can be improved by inhibiting noise sources where they arise. To this end, we offer a large selection of noise absorbers, which are specifically and individually designed for use in office spaces. For this reason, our office acoustics elements are simultaneously used for optical room structuring and separating office work areas. The acoustic elements, suitable for flexible use in offices, reduce disruptive noises at their point of origin and thus contribute to an improved ability to concentrate and work efficiently. We also produce our acoustic absorbers for offices in individual small series in flexible sizes, colours and formats, providing you with effective and attractive, made-to-measure acoustic solutions. No matter the type of office environment, the accurately harmonised and aesthetically appealing acoustic solutions from APN contribute to a creative working atmosphere in the office and to employees’ health and wellbeing.