Does office noise affect your productivity? Oxford Economics surveyed 1,200 people in 2015. They were composed of 600 employees and 600 executives who worked across several industries in different environments.
The gap they found between how the executives and the employees viewed the office environment was significant. While only 35% of the executives reported that the workplace decreased their productivity, 53% of the employees stated this was true for them.
A quiet workplace is of the utmost importance, as is the privacy of your clients. So, we are offering you some important advice on How To Soundproof An Office.
Table of Contents
What Are the Benefits of Soundproofing an Office?
A set of experiments was run by researchers in the UK, testing whether background noise can have an effect on performance. Their findings showed that speech “noise”, as well as office noise, can have a negative effect on mental arithmetic tasks and memory-for-prose tasks alike. There is not much doubt that too much noise can affect your ability to perform.
A Quiet, Productive Workplace
There are many noises that we want to keep out of our office, ones that break our concentration, like construction, traffic, people in line at the food truck on the street, others in the office, or office machines.
If your office is at home, it may be arguing kids, their blaring television, the booming bass of their music, or the dog next door that won’t stop barking.
You must rid yourself of all the distractions to be at your highest productivity level. Besides, working under those noisy conditions can cause stress, so soundproofing can help improve employee health.
When it’s time for your 10 am break, all you want to do is have an espresso sent up and blast a little Mozart, or is it a little Allman Brothers Band? If your room is soundproof, you can do just that without disturbing the atmosphere of the outer office.
Company and Client Confidentiality
There are times when you need to have “that” conversation in your office, the one that no one else should hear, but is your office designed for private conversations?
Your company’s information and strategies are confidential. Do you discuss clients’ personal data on a regular basis? Do you discuss their health and healthcare decisions? Are you a psychiatrist, psychologist, or therapist?
Any of these situations require an office that is soundproof. Your clients expect a measure of privacy, and rightfully so. If for no other reason, in some cases, there may be legal implications if a client’s information is not kept private.
What personal business do you discuss on the telephone in your office? It’s no one’s business but your own, and soundproofing will keep it that way.
How Can I Soundproof My Office?
What is the best way to soundproof my office? Well, it comes down to your needs and your resources.
Acoustic panels soak up noise. They are great for large spaces where sound seems to grow louder and bounce from place to place. These panels can hang from the ceiling or literally serve as functional art in any design configuration.
Carpet and Upholstery
In large rooms where sounds are magnified, carpet and upholstered furniture help to absorb sound and temper the noise.
Soundproofing paint is a paint designed to absorb sound and prevent it from bouncing off the surface. The best soundproofing paint is heavy-bodied, water-based, flat latex paint made with ceramic microspheres and sound-absorbing fillers.
Other materials you may need are rolls of acoustic barrier, dampening compound (sound-deadening caulk), or sound-deadening drywall.
Soundproofing an Existing Office Space
STC (Short Transmission Class) is a rating class that allows you to see on what scale a given material actually reduces airborne sound. The higher the STC rating, the more noise it blocks. In an existing office, you can sometimes make great changes by simply switching out original materials for those with a higher STC rating.
Opting for doors, windows, ceilings, floors, and walls made from materials with a higher STC rating can go a long way. Simple changes like thicker carpeting or switching from a hollow to a solid door can make a huge difference.
If you want to go a step further, you can add another layer of insulation and drywall. It will make a big difference in privacy and noise level, but it will make your room a bit smaller.
The tiniest opening in a wall or doorway reduces its privacy factor by around half, so sealing any holes or cracks in walls or doorways will help, too.
With non-demising walls (walls that don’t go all the way to the ceiling), you can add insulation to your drop ceiling or paint the walls with soundproofing paint.
Soundproofing an Office Space in a New Build
Carefully anticipate and ponder the sounds in your new office, and be certain you take every measure necessary to set the bar of soundproofing high enough from the beginning. What will your clients hear when they walk in? They should hear an office running like a well-oiled machine.
NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) is a scale, ranging from 0 to 1, which shows the percentage of sound that a given material absorbs. So, an ideal material has a rating between 0.7 (which blocks 70% of sound) and 1 (which blocks 100% of sound). Choose these materials for your new build.
Soundproofing Any Office Space
- Acoustic masking is a method that adds sound to the environment, which is at around the same level as human speech. The idea is that it drowns out your speech so that others cannot decipher your conversations.
- Place acoustic panels on the walls or ceilings.
- Install double or triple-pane windows and soundproofing inserts.
- Use noise-reducing curtains.
- Use soundproofing paint to paint walls and ceilings.
- Utilize partitions in open spaces
Carpet and Upholstery
Rolls of Acoustic Barrier
$275/roll of 1/8 in. x 54 in. x 20 ft.
Dampening Compound (Sound-Deadening Caulk)
$27.37/29 oz. tube
Options from $50-$855/each
How Can I Assess My Office Soundproofing Needs?
These are a few questions you need to ask yourself when assessing your office soundproofing needs:
- What type of budget am I working with? Can I go for the most advanced solutions, or will I have to be conservative with my funds?
- Is the noise in my office out of control, or does it just need to be tempered a bit?
- Do I want to go for a solution that is a little more advanced than what I currently require to account for future growth?
- Do I have the right to make changes to the building? Does my lease prohibit this or are there city ordinances and such to worry about?
- Is my office large enough to encounter sound magnification and echo issues? Do I need to employ more advanced solutions or a combination of solutions to solve my noise concerns?
Office Space For Lease
So there are various approaches available to achieve peace and quiet — one of which is to find office space for lease in an area that’s quiet in the first place, and has management that’s willing to work with you to meet your needs: contact us and let’s talk about us helping you soundproof the perfect office… with spectacular views of the lake!