Debunking Workplace Acoustics

There are many factors that are important to keep in mind when constructing a space that is going to be used as a work space. You want to give your employees a workplace that encourages productivity and open mindedness. Of all the factors that affect workplace productivity, one of the most frustrating for all involved can be improper acoustics. Sound annoyance in the office poses some of the most distracting problems.

Figuring out your building acoustics is difficult. You can’t see sound, so it is hard to detect what is going to be the outcome when you are building and putting furniture in your space. Addressing acoustical issues can make a big difference in workplace productivity. Let’s take a look at some common misconceptions about acoustics that you can avoid.


1.Buildings with daylighting are incompatible with comprehensive acoustics. With green initiatives leading to more daylighting and window area in the workplaces, it is widely believed that effective acoustics are not possible in these buildings because the glazed surfaces take away potential areas for sound absorptions. Ceiling tiles and carpeting are less invasive ways to absorb sound during a retrofit. If you have extensive daylighting in your building, Plexiglas sound absorbers can be placed on windows while still allowing sunlight through them.


2.Larger spaces provide better speech privacy. Subjectivity is a major factor to consider with acoustics, especially with larger work spaces. One employee made find a level of noise completely annoying while another does not have a problem with it. Increasing the size of the workspace has almost no impact on speech privacy. Look for ways to absorb sound, placing furniture or apparatus’ that provide “white noise” to mask the sound from discussions can provide more speech privacy.


3.Doors of any kind will eliminate outside noise. Just because a door is closed, it may not be able to prevent sound from coming into the room. Its composition and edge seals are of utmost importance. Doors that have hinges, an insulated core and seals on three sides provide the best sound protection. The ability to seal more of the perimeter makes the hinged door a safer bet to block sound. 

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