Tips on How to Manage Noise in an Open Plan Office

The Downside to an Open Plan Office is NOISE!

So, you love the idea of an open-plan office.

You imagine an office that is a ‘buzz’ with activity and a troupe of highly skilled employees relishing in their modern open space.

This is no surprise as many organisations are ditching the idea of partitions within a partitioned office for a more flowing open and airy design that allows you to show off your modern unique design features. After all, a beautifully designed office can be fundamental in enhancing your company’s image to employees and visitors alike.

However, one of the most common complaints raised by employees working together in a large space with little to no separation is noise.
The greatest disruption to workers comes from general activity noise. Phones, conversations, as well as things like photocopiers and air conditioning units all, contribute to the decibel levels in a room. Not only is it distracting but studies have shown that it can seriously reduce productivity, increase stress levels and lower job satisfaction.

A 2013 study from the University of Sydney found that the lack of sound privacy was the biggest bug-bear of employees.

So how can you achieve the ultra-modern look of an open plan office whilst getting the most out of your employees?  Open office space environments thrive off a certain level of collaboration between employees, so the key is to find the perfect balance of noise-reducing solutions that make sense for your work environment.

Consider the Flooring

As much as you love the look of natural wood or ceramic, have you considered the amount of noise they create when people just generally move about the office?

Here at Pure Office Solutions, we offer a variety of flooring alternatives from modern carpet designs and a vinyl collection of realistic wood, stone, slate, metal and abstract designs and surface textures. All of which offer a generous amount of sound absorption qualities whilst maintaining the aesthetic of your new office space.

Provide Quiet Areas

Breakout areas are a great idea for giving employees the chance to go somewhere a little quieter whilst also doubling up as an area where small meetings can be held.

We offer a variety of breakout furniture options to suit your needs. Breakout furniture characteristics to cut noise levels include soft furnishings and high backs to create a small enclosed area. With a variety of modern upholstery options, they will integrate perfectly into your open office design.

Provide Loud Spaces

This may sound strange considering we are discussing the ways to reduce noise in an office environment, but it is important to consider areas of the office that encourage interaction and discussion these can include kitchenettes, games room and enclosed boardrooms.

design of an office planInnovative Layout

When thinking about your office layout there are some simple things you can do to utilise the space to its full potential as well as reduce as much noise as possible for example, situating desks close together in clusters will help compartmentalise noise. It may be beneficial to house noisy office equipment for example photocopiers, printers and fax machines in a room away from employees.

Here at Pure Office Solutions, we offer an office design service. Our team of designers have the experience and know-how to put together a layout that incorporates all your needs as well as tackle some of the problems you have not even considered.

Wall Partitions

A tried and tested solution, wall partitions and cubicles have helped companies of all sizes separate employees and reduce overall office noise. Even low-level wall partitions that don’t completely close someone off have proven effective.

Here at Pure Office Solutions, we are specialists in the supply and installation of all types of office partition systems ranging from part glazed partitions to full height single and double-glazed glass walls.