Fit Out, Guest Blog
GUEST BLOG: Acoustics in the Working Environment
Guest Blog: Acoustics in the Working Environment
Looking at today’s workplace environment, we have so much to thank the 21st century for, not least the technology we have grown to love and admire that makes running our businesses so much easier. Then there’s the open plan offices, stripped back to the brickwork, plastered walls accompanied by MF ceilings or the often-favoured industrial feel ceiling with M&E on show. – looks great in photographs, but for the employees in these “trendy” offices, what is the impact?
Hard surfaces reflect noise and conversation, which causes them to bounce around the office or room and subsequently the noise travels further.
With nothing in the environment to absorb the unwanted sound, the colleague with the loud telephone voice, the radio in the background, the printer, general conversation and movement leads you to become either accustomed to the noise that surrounds you or to plug in your ear phones and work in your own space. Are either of those options giving a person the platform to be the best and most productive employee they can be?
Unwanted sound or ‘noise’ can be distracting at best, but over a prolonged period can lead to stress and reduced output of an otherwise fruitful colleague. Zoning out from team members around them can have a negative impact on teamwork, and we all know that a business is more successful the stronger and more united the team.
What can you look at to make sound absorption in the working environment more effective?
2018 has seen an explosion of creative ideas; 10 years ago we had plain white, vertically hung baffles, or white rafts (aka clouds), then we had wall panels in school sports halls or leisure facilities in either a grey or beige – these options were not so much strategically placed but installed with a finger crossed approach!
Now we have a better understanding of acoustics – manufacturers understand that the end users and interior designers want more from us, and not just with more colour varieties, but also with innovation.
Take the Akusti Art, for example, which can incorporate images relative to your brand – or perhaps you don’t like squares or rectangles and you want kite or triangle shaped rafts. Perhaps you want the Akusti Stone effect, offering an aesthetically pleasing splash of colour on a wall, which is perfect for smaller offices or in a reception area in lieu of wall panels?
Maybe your breakout area would benefit from acoustic pods for meetings to take place, or a quiet zone to work in, both potentially offering more focus, higher performance and increased productivity. Installing soft flooring in high traffic areas or higher absorptive partitioning systems are options which can also be considered.
As the demand grows for effective acoustics in the workplace, so does the need for availability. Working with British suppliers, such as Akustisol, reduces the lead times from our European peers and offers a more cost-effective and time-saving solution.
Have you woken up to the importance of effective acoustics in the workplace?
Tash Nugent, Managing Director, Akustisol
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