ACOUSTICS IN MODERN OFFICES

In an office environment, acoustics have a major impact on the psychology and well-being of the people in it, which in turn affects their work performance. Residual noise has been shown to increase stress.

Arline L. Bronzaft, Ph.D

Environmental Psychologist

“It costs much less to fight excessive noise than to contend with the health damage it can cause.”

Open-plan offices

Bureau-aire-ouverte

For years, open-plan offices have been popular for the way they facilitate collaboration and teamwork. But after about a generation of experience at companies of all sizes, a certain level of disenchantment has begun to emerge among staff members and business owners. While popular, open-plan offices are a bigger source of dissatisfaction and dysfunction than of collaboration and productivity.

This is where acoustic correction comes in as a way to significantly reduce residual noise and sound reverberation in open spaces. With acoustic correction, you can keep the layout known for its modernity and innovation without having to sacrifice your teams’ efficiency or comfort.

The biggest problem with open-plan layouts? Lack of sound absorption—you experience a large accumulation of different noises from all sides. Acoustic panels, either suspended or affixed to the walls, are required to absorb sound and improve privacy and comfort.

Acoustic panels and baffles, ceiling Clouds and movable Gobo dividers are effective means of reducing residual noise in spaces with fairly high ceilings. These panels are suspended just below the ceiling, making it easy to install lighting without interfering with the proper functioning of sprinkler systems.

Hard surfaces reflect sound, while soft surfaces absorb it. For example, exposed brick walls, although aesthetically appealing, contribute to reverberation.

There is a range of acoustic materials that minimize the reflection of sound waves. These materials are also a stylish way to add aesthetic value to a space.

For a meeting to be constructive, all participants around the table need to be heard. Naturally, clarity of speech is essential. The growing popularity of videoconferencing also brings its own set of challenges. For clear communication, it is important to maintain a reverberation rate below one second. Any higher a rate and listeners on the other end of the call will have significant difficulty hearing and participating in the conversation.

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