How Sound Affects Our Ability To Work26 May 2021
Offices can be noisy places… between conversations with coworkers, whirring of printers, the conducting of meetings and people walking, typing and tapping, it’s a wonder how anyone gets any work done.
There are plenty of Solutions That Will Silence Even The Loudest Office and improve the space’s acoustics to absorb the noise.
However, it can be useful to understand how sound affects our ability to work and why it is important for employers to take steps to minimise the noise in their workplace.
Here are some of the ways that sound in the workplace can affect our ability to work…
Sound Affects Productivity
There have been numerous studies that show that the level of noise in a work environment can affect how much a person can get done.
For businesses, this is a big concern.
As well as decreasing productivity, disruptive noise can increase absenteeism. In Australia, absenteeism and ill-health cost businesses $7 billion per year, which has a huge impact on the expenses of businesses.
Sound Can Impact Stress Levels
For some workers, work can already be a source of stress. Add in additional noise and this stress can become a big problem.
One study has found that decreasing noise in the workplace can increase focus by 60% and decrease stress by 30%.
For employee health and wellbeing, decreasing stress should always be a goal for employers. As stress relates to focus and productivity, reducing noise and therefore stress is also beneficial from a business point of view.
Sound Affects Accuracy
While open plan offices have numerous positive impacts in a workplace, the possible distractions posed by the increased capacity for noise to travel do increase in these types of offices.
Open plan offices boost communication, teamwork, and flexibility but the additional noise does have an impact on the accuracy of a person’s work. The study mentioned above performed a test both with and without noise, and found that the accuracy of the work produced by the subjects fell 67%.
Sound Can Have Health Repercussions
In addition to stress, working in a noisy place has other health problems. Worksafe Queensland outlines that noise, particularly excessive noise, can:
- cause hearing loss;
- annoy and interfere with speech;
- interfere with concentration and thought processes;
- disturb sleep;
- cause fatigue and aggression;
- reduce immune response; and
- lead to heart disease.
Although most workplaces won’t have a significantly high level of noise, it is something to think about if the noise in your workplace does start to creep up.
These impacts will impact both a person’s ability to work and numerous aspects of their lives.
How Can These Be Prevented?
There is no need to implement soundproof rooms, antisocial dividers, or a ‘no noise’ policy in your office to omit these issues. There is a simple solution to decrease the effect sound has in your workplace. And they not only improve the acoustics of the space, but they also add character.
Acoustic products can effectively absorb sound in your office while simultaneously enhancing the aesthetic appeal of your office or blending into your current style.