Open spaces raise a lot of controversy. On the one hand, an open-plan office favours integration and better communication throughout an organisation, but on the other hand it offers poorer acoustics and work comfort than cellular offices. Luckily, there are several ways to effectively reduce noise in an open space. We discuss them below.
Use expert knowledge
Start by determining the facts. Acoustic comfort in an office depends on many factors, so as long as you do not measure and examine your needs, you will have to rely on wild guesses. Ask an acoustic engineer for help. They can take measurements to help you effectively design the soundproofing of your open-plan office. In open spaces, we should look for privacy, reduce noise levels and try to ensure the lowest possible reverberation time. This can be a difficult task, because even factors such as wall thickness and materials, and the type of ceiling and flooring in the space affect the acoustics of a building. Therefore, a specialist simulation is needed to determine the number of products needed, their placement and characteristics. All this to find best open office noise solutions.
Pay attention to sound insulation
Once you know the needs of the space you are designing and know exactly what needs soundproofing, make sure you get your acoustic products right. They will allow you to effectively separate work stations from each other and provide employees with the sound insulation they need. There are various acoustic panels and walls on the market. One of the solutions for open-space offices is the Sileo line, designed to effectively improve acoustic conditions in a space.
With these solutions you can not only soundproof an open-plan office, but also create a unique, cosy interior
Match products specifically to your needs
While choosing acoustic office noise solutions, remember that product class does not always testify to product effectiveness. The widespread belief that a product with a higher sound absorption class improves the acoustics of a space better is wrong. In fact, this is much more complicated. We need products with different sound absorption characteristics and different effect on sounds in specific rooms. Sometimes, a product with a lower sound absorption class can be better, because it can absorb a problematic frequency range, whereas a top class product will not work on the source of the problem, only deepening the disproportion. Therefore, individual approach to choosing acoustic solutions for the office is always needed.
Plan out support zones
To serve employees well, every open space needs the right support zones. Their job is to help keep an open-plan office quiet. Support zones may include small, well-soundproofed rooms for making phone calls. Phone booths, increasingly popular in offices, help to free open-plan offices from the most distracting factor in a work environment: speech. Small rooms for informal meetings are another example. It is a good idea to plan out a few such rooms of different sizes. Employees will be able to use them for spontaneous meetings, instead of disturbing colleagues sitting next to them. Support zones can be scattered throughout the office and can take various forms. Consider the ones that best respond to the needs of your specific office.
The look is important
Lastly, there is one more thing: aesthetic considerations. Sometimes, people say that acoustic products can spoil the look of an office. However, if you think about them at an early stage, or match them wisely to an existing space, they can perfectly complement and actually decorate an office. You should not be afraid of change. With the wide variety of forms and colours of acoustic panels available, you can create original arrangements which can beautifully decorate, while effectively soundproofing your open space. Here are a few examples to back up our words.
Misconceptions and patchy knowledge about acoustics can stop you from taking control of sound chaos in an open-plan office. The solutions shown above are just a few of the possible ways of having a quiet open space your employees will love. For more, check out a free report 8 Myths About Acoustics offering valuable information for anyone who wants to enjoy acoustic comfort in the workplace. Enjoy the read!