Email notifications, ringing phones, pages being printed, multiple co-workers’ conversations… How is anyone supposed to get any work done in an open office environment? While open office designed workplaces are a proven strategy to boost collaboration between employees, noise in the workplace can undoubtedly be extremely distracting, reduce concentration levels and limit conversation for many others. Noise in the workplace is one of the most common influencers on work productivity and performance. However, minimising office noise doesn’t mean you have to do away with the creative open office fitout by installing dividers and separating your employees into individual cubicles. In this blog post, Sheldon offer four strategies to easily implement and reduce the level of noise in your workplace.

Create a ‘Quiet Room’

According to the results of a study conducted in 2014 by Steelcase and Ipsos, employees lose up to 86 minutes every day as a result of noise distractions1. At Sheldon, we understand how stressful it can be, which is why we recommend transforming an unused room into a dedicated “quiet room” for employees who require full concentration when working on a project. In this quiet space, group work and phone conversations with clients are frowned upon.

Introduce Plants into the Office Interior Design

For a more natural approach, add plants into your workplace as they have sound absorbing capabilities, which means you’ll hear less of the photocopy machine going off every 15 minutes. Another bonus are the health benefits plants provide, such as repairing oxygen levels in the office.

Install Carpet Flooring

It’s true, hard flooring surfaces such as hardwood do a poor job at absorbing sound unlike softer materials such as carpets. Switching to carpet flooring is a simple way to overcome noise disturbances in the office and those located one floor below you will also be very thankful.

Play Music

We know this may seem counter-intuitive, but increasing background noise can actually mask distracting sounds. Research has shown that it isn’t the noise that diverts attention, but rather unwanted noise1. Try adding ambient or classical music to your office environment that is continuously playing in the background. Or why not get your very own employees to take control and create a relaxing playlist while increasing company culture.

Do you think it is possible to have an innovative, open office while still maintaining peace and quiet, too?


1 https://hbr.org/2015/03/stop-noise-from-ruining-your-open-office