Acoustics are important for your work environment. Anyone who has ever tried to finish an important report in the middle of a noisy open-plan office will know that. Good acoustics will allow you to work more comfortably, healthy and – above all – more effectively. This is why we pay so much focus and attention to it when we are designing interiors for our clients. Acoustics, however, can also be improved without reconstructing an interior or refurnishing it completely. Our interior architects will further expound on this topic below. Tip number 5 can be realised without the need for any financial investment.
Add more areas for common use to your interior. The dispersion of people will bring down the noise level and provide more peace and quiet for those working at their desks. The company restaurant could also service as a meeting place or an area where visitors can be welcomed, for example. Or – when the weather permits it – meet up in the garden or on the terrace outside. You may also want to reconsider the allocation of employees across the different rooms: make sure that if two teams need to communicate with each other, that their offices are close to one another. This will save internal traffic from and to departments which, in turn, will result in more peace and quiet.
Introduce plants, small tree or moss walls to your interior. All this greenery will purify the air, improve humidity and absorb sound! Moreover, employees will give their work environment a higher rating when they are surrounded by plants. All the more reason to add lots of green to your interior.
Gispen has a wide range of accessories that offer an acoustic benefit, which are all retrofittable to an office interior. Curtains, felt panels on walls, lamps acoustic shades, or an acoustic ceiling island with integrated lighting. Loose-laid carpet tiles that function as a rug, acoustic panels to mark different zones. Dividing screens placed on top of desks: panels in between two workstations, for not only an acoustic effect but also to deal with visual distractions. Cabinets can also be provided with acoustic panels, offering both a visual and acoustic benefit: double the gain.
A great many phone calls are conducted by those working in customer support. This is where headsets will offer a considerable advantage: these will cancel out noise caused by colleagues and callers on the line will experience less ambient noise. Telephone calls are a major disturbance in many other departments too: having a phone booth at the office is an effective solution. A noise cancelling headset is perfect for those who want to shut themselves off completely and be able to fully concentrate. Headphones are also a good alternative to having radio for everyone in the department. This way, music lovers can still have some music in the background while they work.
A colleague walks by and a short question turns into a debate. This can be very disturbing to others in an open work environment. Moving to a meeting room and continuing your conversation there is what people should do. You can set ground rules with your colleagues to prevent such disturbances. Discuss what is needed and see what is possible within your own department. Informal meetings can be held at the coffee corner instead of the office, don't leave phones unattended for them to keep ringing and don't put your phone on speaker when making a phone call. And when certain jobs need to be taken care of within the office environment, such as printer repairs, try to have them carried out during lunch breaks or on quiet days.
Clever solutions with a positive effect
Do you have circular ambitions and would you like to translate these into your interior design?
Those who work in comfort will feel more energised. But what does ‘comfort’ actually mean to your organisation?