There is a saying that noise only begets noise – the latter being in the form of poor work performance and endless complaints. A study carried out by the University of California’s Centre for the Built Environment (CBE) revealed that five in ten employees blame noise distraction for poor work performance and six in ten would consider leaving employment if the acoustics at the workplace is terrible. This tells us that acoustics may cause serious problems among workers that will directly impact on the performance of a company or organization.
What can you do to remedy acoustic problems and make your employees comfortable and efficient?
It boils down to office design
The more the employees grouped together in a limited space, and the more the varied their work, the greater the need for proper acoustics on the walls, ceilings, furnishings, and even office or cubicle separations. If your employees have acoustic-related problems, you will most likely notice that their performances and concentration dip as the day progresses because attention is a very limited resource that even the squeak of a chair can easily distort.
For offices shared by several employees, it pays to acoustically separate the workstations using shelves or partitions – not just physical separation. This means that to reduce acoustic-related problems for your workers, you should get a contractor to equip the room with sound absorbent materials, particularly if employees have to converse a lot on the telephone or among themselves.
Re-design may be the only solution
Noise is very tiring work because to the brain, noise is a stressor. If your place of work is situated in a noisy part of town – such as next to a busy highway or a school, exposing your employees to high levels of noise will stimulate their nervous system and raise their blood pressure, causing the release of stress hormones. Stressed workers are not the easiest to work with.
Proper acoustics in a work building will save the employees the effort they would have to put to block the noise and concentrate on their work. Some entrepreneurs and building managers with whom BRAVO! Have worked with admit that redesigning and sound-proofing a place of work goes a long way to improve employee comfort, satisfaction, and performance. If you have noticed noise-related problems among your staff and are considering interior office redesign, acoustics should be on top of your list of problems to solve.
Plug the sound leaks
In offices where the biggest problem is employee conversations and lack of privacy, you may want to look for noise ‘leaks’ that are transmitted from one room to another through the walls and even the ceiling system. You would be surprised to learn that the simple solution to this problem is a professional installation of high-performance sound-absorbent ceiling materials that will cost little but will go a long way to solve most employee privacy problems.
When employees complain of unintelligible conversations during meetings or conferences in concrete, metal or glass-covered rooms, chances are that multiple echoes in the room completely distort the original sound, making a message difficult to pass by voice. In such a case, the room would require proper acoustics installation to prevent excessive reverberation.
BRAVO! is a company with the expertise, sound level measuring tools, and the licensed acoustics technicians to solve any acoustics-related problems that may be negatively impacting on the productivity of your employees and the performance of your business. These three are just the most likely causes of acoustic issues in your place of work that BRAVO! can fix.