Sounds Perfect? - Part II
In my last blog we looked at how noise – or the lack of it – can lead to distraction and a lack of concentration in the workplace – costing businesses time and money. Now let’s think about what can be done to resolve these problems – and the solution might not be as difficult or expensive as you might think.
Noise can be controlled using three broad techniques, summarised in the ‘ABC’ approach: • absorption • blocking • cover
Absorption Sound reflected back or reverberated from surface finishes and materials is a major cause of acoustic problems, so one of the simplest solutions is to introduce specialist materials designed to absorb sound energy – such as wall panelling or ceiling tiles. (Today’s high specification panels can also be over printed with your chosen designs, so they make great wall art too).
Blocking Vertical barriers effectively limit the distance sound energy travels, so by carefully introducing or relocating products like partitions, screens and storage cabinets you can greatly reduce unwanted noise distraction.
Cover The effects of noise can also be neutralised by introducing a level of background sound, which also ensures greater privacy. Noise cover is a subtle, computer-generated random sound that makes conversation and noise more difficult to hear and comprehend.
Investing in noise control measures makes sense not just in terms of employee well-being but also financially. Studies have shown that creating the right acoustic environment can lead to increases in productivity of anywhere from 5% to 15%.
What’s your experience of noise distraction? What measures have you taken to combat it? Why not post a comment to let us know how successful it’s been?