7 Ways to Reduce Office Background Noise
Working in a typical office environment might be tiring at times. The office crowd, annoying co-workers, unnecessary questions and constant noise are among the most common problems an office-goer faces. Unfortunately, this issue causes most employees to feel overwhelmed and reduces their performance.
On the other hand, creating a peaceful environment in an office encourages employees to feel more comfortable and productive. There are a few things companies can do to reduce office background noise and improve their employees' comfort. Let's discover some of them!
1. Use Portable Work and Meeting Pods
Sometimes, employees need a private space where they can get away from the office crowd and work in solitude. The easiest way for a company to provide this privacy is by placing work and meeting pods at various spots in the office.
Portable work and meeting pods are ideal for creating a distraction-free environment within an office. These easy-to-install pods provide employees with a closed space to focus on their projects without background noise. Thanks to the soundproof material and superior design, employees can work without being disrupted by others and increase efficiency.
2. Use Noise-Cancelling Headphones
Especially in loud offices or workspaces located near a production area, employees might find it hard to focus. This could decrease their efficiency and create an unpleasant atmosphere in the office due to the lack of concentration. Despite being a simple solution, giving employees noise-cancelling headphones might actually solve the noise problem.
Companies typically discourage the use of headphones in the workplace since they can be distracting or perceived as a lack of professionalism; nevertheless, using noise-cancelling headphones or regular headphones might actually increase productivity.
3. Rearrange the Office Layout
As we mentioned earlier, some offices may be around production areas, or there might be loud areas - such as call centres or marketing sections - within the office itself. In this case, the best option is to rearrange the office layout in order to give employees a more tranquil environment.
If the office is near a manufacturing area, the ideal solution is to relocate it to a different location, preferably one that is not too close to the factory. However, if relocation is not possible, constructing a wall between the office and the factory or installing soundproof glass may be helpful.
In offices with loud areas, grouping different sections together is the best approach. Customer service and marketing, for example, can be arranged together, while areas that make less noise can be grouped together.
4. Implement New Policies
In some offices, the problem might be the employees. When using noise-cancelling headphones, rearranging the office, or placing portable pods doesn't help, companies might try to look for different ways to create a peaceful office environment. At this point, implementing new policies might be helpful. For example, an office can implement a quiet time policy to offer its employees a quiet office environment for a few hours a day.
Another possible solution is designating specific areas within the office where employees can have phone calls, talk with each other or collaborate.
5. Install White Noise Machines
When it's not possible to stop people from being noisy or prevent background noise, workplaces might try to fight fire with fire. Installing white noise machines might deaden the background noise or at least make it less noticeable.
Increased focus and productivity are further advantages of white noise machines. White noise is believed to help people relax and focus by decreasing background noise and giving an adequate amount of relaxing sounds to keep the brain focused. Therefore, using white noise machines in the office might have several advantages.
6. Prefer Soundproof Material
Another way of reducing background noise in the office is to use soundproof material when constructing different rooms, areas, and units. This could minimise voice transmission between different sections of the office. Also, the use of soundproof material might help employees feel more comfortable talking about confidential topics. As a result, the overall productivity of the employees will increase, and operations will be more effective.
Working in a soundproofed space might also allow employees to work on team projects more comfortably. Employees can comfortably brainstorm and discuss their projects as they know they won't annoy anyone.
All in all, using soundproof material in an office is the key to improving efficiency and productivity.
7. Place Phone Booths
Constant phone calls are some of the major causes of office background noise. An employee could receive an emergency call from home, they might need to use their phone for a work-related reason, or some employees may take rest breaks earlier and decide to have phone calls.
The easiest way to address this issue is to place office phone booths around the office. Therefore, employees can have phone calls without bothering their co-workers. Besides, soundproof phone booths are also perfect for confidential calls - especially work-related ones.