Good office acoustics are a key contributor to workplace performance and productivity. Introducing office screens to a workplace can help to reduce sound significantly by either blocking or absorbing it, depending on the type of office screen you use.
The best quality screens we offer, Premium Acoustic Office Screens, block and absorb sound.
Absorbing sound deals with the reverberation within a space whilst blocking deals with the control of sound from one space to another.
How Office Screens Help to Reduce Sound
Sound Absorption – Hard surfaces will reflect sound and potentially amplify it by increasing the reverberation times. Introducing office screens provides a soft surface area which will absorb any sound passing through, generally the softer the material is the better its absorption capabilities are.
Our acoustic office partitions are covered in thick, sound absorbing foam with a top layer of woven fabric to maximise sound absorption.
Sound Insulation – Sound travels through solid objects, in order to control the movement of sound you can introduce something to block it. To be effective the barrier should be dense enough to stop sound travelling through it easily and sizeable enough to stop sound travelling over it.
The soft foam material and wide range of sizes make our office screens an ideal sound barrier. Our Premium Acoustic office dividers are 62mm thick with hollow area in between the surfaces, the hollow area helps to reduce the sound travelling through. They are available in a range of sizes up to 2100mm high and 1800mm wide and so are large enough to act as an effective sound barrier.
Top Tips to Improve Office Acoustics
- Introduce high quality office furniture partitions. This helps to reduce distracting noises and enhance privacy for staff members.
- Consider the position, height and quantity of screens used. The majority of office noise is produced at head height so office screens below that may not be as effective.
- Introduce absorbent or non-reflecting materials and avoid too many hard surfaces to stop sound reflection.
- Consider the seating plan of your office, arranging staff back to back means that sound will be travelling away from them rather than towards them.
- Creating cubicles around desks with tall office dividers will reduce sound leaving that area.
- Position any machinery or equipment that produces noise around the outside or at one end of the room with people towards the middle or other end of the room.
- Positioning office screens around noisy equipment such as printers will help to reduce the sound.
Office environments should work towards reaching an SPI (Speech Privacy Index) of between 80-95%, in order to effectively combat distractions in the workplace. Privacy Index is worked about by going into the room or area of your office that you want to test and reading 100 words at random, if, for example your colleague can understand 5 of the 100 words then you have a SPI of 95%.
Office Acoustic Statistics
A survey of 3700 respondents regarding office acoustics received the following results:
- 60% of office workers said they could get more done if it were quieter
- 60% said they often stop and talk to colleagues in workstations
- 56% said the ability to insulate themselves from distractions was very important
- 50% said noise keeps them from being as productive as they could be.
The office zoning principle is simple, keep the noise generating areas of the business away from the work areas that need a quieter environment. Collaboration areas, open meeting areas, conference rooms, break rooms and printer stations are common noise generators in businesses and should be situated together, away from quieter areas.
In open plan work areas you should try to cluster teams together so they can collaborate and separate them from people who work on their own.
Large spaces such as reception areas, cafeterias and lobbies are often noisy areas that should be acoustically isolated from adjoining open workspaces in order to prevent the noise affecting employee productivity.
XL Displays offers a wide range of office screens and partitions designed to help reduce noise in the workplace. Our screen range varies in price to accommodate any sized business and includes everything from our budget Speedy Desk Screens to our Premium Acoustic Office Partitions.
For more information please contact us or call our sales team on 01733 511030.