Now hear this: Creating a positive soundscape

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Pump up the volume on productivity

Author: Marina Fletcher

Background noise and acoustics can play a big role in office productivity and comfort. An overly noisy or echoey office can be distracting and make it hard to get work done. On the other hand, a completely silent office can also feel empty and unsettling.

ODP Business Solutions® Workspace Interiors can help you create the right kind of sound environment for your office by providing solutions and services that can help optimize office acoustics and background noise.

The result? Employees who are more focused and comfortable. Sound good? Here are some ways you can optimize the audio in your office space:

Peace and quiet

Peace and quiet

Identify sources of excessive noise such as HVAC systems, traffic sounds from open windows, noisy equipment like printers and copiers, breakroom appliances, and clutter that can amplify sounds. Then consider noise-dampening materials and tactics such as:

  • Mounting acoustic tiles to ceilings
  • Implementing white-noise machines or apps
  • Replacing hard floors with sound-absorbing carpeting
  • Closing doors and windows to mute external noise

Sound-masking systems are also an option to help provide consistent, unobtrusive background noise that helps cover up intermittent louder noises.

Music to your ears

Music to your ears

Dealing with overly noisy workspaces is one thing. But how do you address silent offices that feel sterile and uncomfortable?

  • Add subtle, calming background noise to help create a positive soundscape
  • Play soft, instrumental music genres like classical, ambient, or white-noise channels at low volumes

The key is to make sure any music or sounds you use are just loud enough to subtly fill your workspace without becoming distracting.

Tip: Sounds of nature like ocean waves, rainfall, or chirping birds can also work well for ambient noise — plus soothing sounds from small indoor water features like a mini Zen fountain.

Address the acoustic elephant in the room

Address the acoustic elephant in the room

Every workspace is different, but one thing remains true across the board: Rooms with hard, echoey surfaces like concrete, glass, tile, and metal reflect noise and can cause annoying reverberation.

To help address this, consider installing acoustic wall and ceiling panels made of sound-absorbing materials. The panels can help dampen noise vibrations rather than amplifying them, which in turn reduces echo and noise buildup.

If installing panels in your office isn’t ideal, consider furnishing your space with sound-absorbing furnishings that can also help minimize reverberation, such as:

  • Thick carpets or area rugs
  • Acoustic space-divider screens
  • Wall hangings
  • Large plants
  • Decorative lighting with acoustical properties
Shield, absorb, partition, repeat

Shield, absorb, partition, repeat

As a general rule of thumb, the more people there are in your workspace and the louder the activity, the more acoustic absorption you’ll want to have in place. So when the office is bustling with team members, adding acoustic panels and/or increasing calming background noise can help prevent conversations and sounds from carrying throughout your work environment.

But what about reducing distractions during focused work times with fewer employees? Utilizing acoustic screens or partitions can help create quieter, noise-shielded workspaces for employees.

Take noise out of the equation

Noise in an office environment can be distracting and reduce productivity. Paying attention to factors like ambient sound, acoustics, and noise sources can make a big difference in optimizing the soundscape of your workplace. When auditory distractions are minimized, employees can stay more focused and comfortable — no matter the capacity.

Rely on Workspace Interiors

Workspace Interiors brings you a knowledgeable team with access to innovative furniture and ideas. We’re more than a furniture vendor. Workspace Interiors provides total turnkey solutions that suit your unique requirements, and we can manage any or all parts of the process.

Find out how we can help you support collaboration throughout your organization. Contact Workspace Interiors today.

All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor publisher warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions, or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.

ODP and ODP Business Solutions are trademarks of ODP Business Solutions, LLC. © 2024 ODP Business Solutions, LLC. All rights reserved.

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