Returning to the Office: The Impact of Acoustics in the Workplace
Many people were impatiently awaiting the office return and now it’s time to come up with a plan! We are discovering the advantages and disadvantages of Open-Plan offices and having colleagues right next to one another. We are also discovering certain distractions and noises that have been forgotten since teleworking.
Discussions, phone calls, video calls, computer devices … There are many sources of noise in the office and the acoustics in the workplace are important issues.
Why Worry about Noise
Problems related to acoustics in the workplace affect the daily lives of thousands of people. Even though ambient noise is generally below the maximum permissible exposure level in Quebec of 90 dBA for 8 consecutive hours, it remains a major source of inconvenience and frustration.
In the office, noise influences the comfort, concentration and performance of every employee. It’s understandable that many workers have said they are more comfortable working from home and their level of concentration is better. As the return to the office begins, the well-being of the employees is essential. An employer must take the noise issue seriously and put in place relevant solutions.
Fortunately, there are ways to block out noise in an Open-Plan office. Several options are possible according to the specific needs of each company: acoustic products, closed offices, partitions …
You have to ask yourself what is the most important and useful for your business. Consider interviewing your team members. You will be able to discuss their needs and expectations. Here are some questions to ask yourself;
- What environmental factors influence the productivity and focus of your team?
- What environmental factors influence the well-being and comfort of your team?
- Do your employees work more often within teams or alone?
- Will the spaces be used only for employees or will they also welcome your customers?
- What mode of communication is preferred within the organization? Telephone, email, chat, video conference?
- What mode of work organization is preferred? Assigned or unassigned seating? 100% face-to-face, teleworking or the hybrid work model?
These products solve the acoustic problems typically in Open-Plan workspaces by reducing the impact of ambient noise. They help create calmer and more motivating environments by putting the acoustic needs of individuals first.
Artofix products are designed to mitigate the impact of ambient noise and reverberation. These are 3D acoustic tiles made in Quebec. There are over 18 models and a wide variety of colors available.
The configuration possibilities are limitless. With these tiles, you can create and enhance artistic spaces with color while solving acoustic problems. This solution combines acoustic comfort and design for a return to the office synonymous with well-being.
Partitions and Spaces
The partitions create intimacy thanks to aesthetic and functional spaces. Many configurations are possible. No matter what type of partitions you choose, they improve workplace acoustics and the quality of life for the entire office.
For example, glass partitions allow light to flow creating a brighter workplace. They can also add style to your office space. Thanks to the partitions, it is possible to define dynamic areas dedicated to collaborative work or to create multifunctional spaces that can adapt and evolve to the different needs of the team. It is a good option for creating flexible spaces that will follow the trends in the layout and work method while helping you solve your acoustic problems in the workplace.
POD (Privacy on Demand) offers products designed for employees to retreat to another area for a few minutes, perhaps a few hours, away from an open space. These booths are ideal for receiving a call or participating in a virtual meeting without disturbing other colleagues.
Being self-supporting, all POD products are independent of the architecture of the building. Therefore, they can meet the needs of different types of businesses and architectural limitations from one office to another. Tek Booth and Tek Room have a range of products; the first can accommodate one user, while the second can accommodate a small group of three or four people. The key word with POD is privacy.
These products blend easily into any decor thanks to Teknion’s impressive selection of finishes with endless color combinations.
Returning to the office means changes for everyone. You may need to change your way of doing things; the world is changing and workers and work environments must follow. Acoustic solutions and partitions can certainly help you in the redevelopment of your spaces. To learn even more about workplace acoustics and get key recommendations, sign up for the Webinar Demystifying Acoustics: The Secret to Avoiding Office Cacophony on January 26th at 10:30 am! Mark your Calendar!