The rise of open plan office design has brought with it a slew of benefits, as increased collaboration lends itself to greater success. But not everything about an open office environment enhances productivity. Ambient office sounds - conversations between co-workers and office equipment noise for example - can severely impact work productivity.
How Does Noise Affect Productivity?
Even though we’re not always aware of it, excessive or repetitive noise can affect our concentration and communication. And the worst offender? Conversations among co-workers. According to The Sound Agency, our brains only have space for about 1.6 conversations. Overhearing another conversation takes up one of those, with only .6 left for our own inner voice! This makes concentrating on work much more difficult.
And trying to multitask in a noisy environment? Forget it. Stanford University neuroscientists found that multitaskers are not only more likely to be distracted by office noise, but find it harder to get back into their work once the distraction has passed.
Noise can affect motivation as well. According to a study found in the Journal of Applied Psychology, workers exposed to prolonged office noise were less likely to concentrate on complex tasks, had elevated stress hormone levels, and were less likely to attempt solving complicated problems. All things that lead to lowered productivity for your business.
So What’s the Solution?
Plugging in earphones may seem like an easy fix, but extended use of earphones can not only cause hearing damage, it also impedes communication among co-workers. Not quite what we want in a collaborative office environment.
The best solution is to absorb some of that extra noise. Strategically placing sound-absorbing materials around the office can significantly improve noise levels, reducing sound-related stress and improving concentration.
Versare has several noise-absorbing options for your office. From Desktop Panels to StraightWall Room Dividers to our Wider Acoustic Range, we’re bound to have something that will improve the acoustics of your workspace. We even have Wall Mounted Acoustic Panels that look like artwork! The options are endless.
Take a look at our Shop page for a complete list of our products, and follow us on social media for customer reviews and product use ideas. And don’t hesitate to contact us to find out how we can help you improve the acoustics (and therefore the productivity!) of your office.