Hear, Hear – Acoustics and Privacy in the Office
July 12, 2022
While the trend towards open spaces and co-working areas in office design has many benefits including improved teamwork and employee engagement, there are some pitfalls also. Put a lot of people in an open space and there can be acoustics and privacy issues that become apparent. And sometimes you just need privacy for that important phone call, be it personal or business-related.
Trouble is, many of the materials traditionally used in office construction, like drywall and glass, are not great sound absorbers. Hard surfaces reflect noise, creating a “live” space that can quickly become a cacophony of sound, even with only a handful of people there. Needless to say, office workers don’t like this … and they like the lack of privacy even less. So it’s critical to make every effort to reduce noise pollution in the workplace.
That’s why manufacturers continue to introduce a wide variety of acoustical solutions for the office environment. These solutions can range from simple acoustical fabric panels to deaden sound reflection in a conference room to sophisticated sound-masking systems that produce white noise in the background, reducing distractions and improving privacy.
And in between, there’s a big range of possibilities in furniture and fixtures: high-backed, fabric-covered chairs and benches; seating booths with enclosed ceilings; private office pods for one or two people; even semi-enclosed rolling workstations that can be repositioned at a moment’s notice.
In other words, whatever your specific issue with noise happens to be, there’s almost certainly a fixture or furniture type that’s designed to solve it. Want to make a private call? Need a way for two people to talk without being heard all over the office? Need the ability to change from group efforts to privacy on a moment’s notice? There’s furniture for that.
The solution begins with a thorough assessment of the problem. If you’re planning a new space, or if your current space is presenting acoustics and privacy problems, let’s talk about it. Quietly.
Questions about acoustics in office design? Contact Douron.