Large corporate offices like call centers, advertising firms and trading firms can be noisy environments. High traffic office sounds such as dozens of voices, notifications, telephone ringing, and more can make concentration and focus difficult for some employees. So the big challenge is how to lessen office noises with as little design changes as possible.
Here are 7 solutions to improve acoustic design for high traffic offices.
1. Adjacencies Should Match Energy
When dividing up an office building into different types of workspaces such as collaboration area, break rooms, cubicles, etc, you should pay special attention to the energy levels that you expect the rooms to have. Putting collaborative workspaces directly adjacent to private office spaces meant for one on one consultations can cause the noise to seem excessive when heard in the private office. The same concept is said for designating workplaces. You won't want to create a workspace for employees who need to work individually and quietly in the middle of your office area.
2. Designated Focus Areas
Collaborative work spaces and high traffic offices can benefit from designated focus areas. When people are constantly talking to people throughout the day or have a lot of tasks they must think about, a break from the noise is needed. Having designated rooms for employees to be able to re-focus in a quiet place that are still in view of the collaborative spaces so that the employee is aware of what is going on is important. Designated focus areas promote concentration and while filtering out the background noise of the office.
3. Flooring and Carpeting Solutions
One sound in high traffic offices that can often be overlooked is the sound from flooring. Floors that are tile or laminate can be very noisy when people are walking over them. Chairs can squeak on tile or laminate flooring causing unsettling noises. Choosing carpeting for floors controls the noises that come from impact. Your flooring options can also dampen the noise from voices though as well. Installing your office carpet over concrete or shredded rubber mats (anything with a dense mass) can absorb office place sounds. One of the most popular options for office space flooring nowadays would be engineered hardwood floors. Not only are they aesthetically pleasing, they are also sustainable as well.
4. New Construction Noise Reduction
If you are building and designing a workspace from scratch, there are many design elements that contractors can use to reduce noise and improve workplace acoustics. The noise impact starts with the location of the office. Placing an office building near an airport, train station or busy highway will give you more noise to combat in the workplace. HVAC systems and elevators can also create acoustic pathways to filter sound through the building. You can also have your contractors use materials that help reduce noise and absorb sound vibrations.
5. Free Hanging Ceilings
Industrial work spaces are in style because they help to keep temperatures regulated and are energy efficient. These types of workspaces can be terrible for workspace acoustics however because sounds such as voices can bounce off industrial features making noise worse. Suspended ceiling panels are a great way to get the benefits of the industrial office space while also helping to contain and dampen noise. These are free hanging panels made from hardwood or metal and have sound dampening panels on the backside.
6. Modular Walls
Modular walls can be customized to fit any workspace and can be used as dividers that create unique workspaces. They can come in multiple shapes such as circular or oval in addition to square and rectangular. These walls can also have lights installed or speakers to be used as a modern, free standing wall. These are great for creating designated break areas or concentration spaces.
7. Office Acoustic Panels
Modular office acoustic panels dampen noise through their honeycomb construction. The hexagons inside the partitions are made from hemp, a natural acoustic dampener. Office acoustic panels are the most cost-effective design solutions for high traffic offices. These panels stand alone and do not require installation to existing fixtures.
Consult your building contractor today to find out which of these acoustic design solutions for high traffic offices will work for your space.