Noise in the workplace can be a nuisance – it disrupts your flow of thought, takes your attention elsewhere, and therefore may make your work become disjointed. It is, unfortunately, often palmed off as being another frivolous thing to complain about or an environmental factor of an office which is so commonplace its negative effects have become inconsequential. However, there is proof that an excess of sound in the office actually can be detrimental to performance. On top of this, studies have also shown that noise in the workplace can have a damaging effect on your health.
According to Lorraine E. Maxwell‘s article Noise in the Office Workplace sound greater than 65 decibels can cause a distraction in the office. Another study found that both speech and office noise can hinder the memory and the ability to complete mental arithmetic tasks. This means that additional noise in the work place could be disruptive to the people in the office and in turn affect the quality of work produced.
Further studies have also looked into the effect of noise on health. The Federal Environmental Agency in Berlin found that noise is linked to heart attacks, since it can raise levels of stress hormones. When you’re in a loud office environment and your stress hormones are constantly circulating, it can cause raised blood pressure and a weakened immune system, leading to longer term health problems.
What can you do about it?
Here at JCW Acoustic we have just the solution to these workplace problems: office soundproofing. We offer smaller scale solutions such as desk mounted screens, which will allow each employee to keep to themselves, whilst still maintaining the open plan that provokes stimulating, work-related (we hope) conversation. We also offer Acoustic Pods and Offices, to keep business meetings contained as not to disturb others who are working on individual projects. A final thing to consider is noise that emanates from places other than people. We offer Acoustic Utility Areas that prevents noises from utilities such as the dishwasher or kettle disturbing employees.