Picture this: you have mountains of work to do, the radio two desks down is blaring and the newcomers in the row behind you won’t stop giggling. The noise is driving you up the wall and it’s so hard to concentrate!
Even the most well-planned office has issues with noise control, especially if it’s an open plan design. The benefits of collaboration and space-optimisation are often offset by noise issues, and it’s not always practical to wear earphones all day long.
Noise pollution is a real concern and it’s not just reserved for those on construction sites; those in the office can be just as affected.
As you may know from visiting restaurants and music venues, as noise levels increase, so too does the volume of people’s conversations. Add in the loud air conditioning vents, the outdoor construction work and the microwave oven and you’ll have people virtually shouting over the top of each other – or at least talking more loudly than usual.
For some people, noise can have physical effects beyond the frustration of not being able to hear yourself think. Constant or loud noise can affect your sleeping patterns as well as increasing stress, fatigue and aggressive behaviour. Some studies even show that high blood pressure can be linked to noise exposure, making noise pollution a real and serious concern.
While you can’t stop people from making noise, acoustic panels at least take the edge off the worst of it, helping to reduce the cacophony of ringtones, conversations and other unwanted sounds.
An acoustic panel helps to absorb some of the sound within an area, reducing the noise and bringing some calm back to your desk. They also work to provide privacy for meetings and phone conversations, helping to prevent your voice from carrying across the office towards unwitting eavesdroppers.
Available as wall-mounts or freestanding screens, many acoustic panels are multi-purpose and double as display boards, whiteboards or aesthetic wall decoration.
An acoustic panel is made from absorptive materials which reduce reflective noise. In other words, they absorb sound, much like a sponge absorbs water. So, while acoustic panels might not block the noise altogether, they can reduce the echo of people talking and other undesirable sounds.
Acoustic panels can be installed along a full length of wall for large or busy environments or placed in selected locations for a smaller space. Whether you choose a wall panel or freestanding panel depends on your specific needs.
A wall panel can be aesthetically pleasing, and many can also be used as pin-boards for displaying messages or photos. A mobile screen can be wheeled to create a quiet and private space for meetings or presentations. They can also be used as display panels with surfaces which can be pinned to or written on.
With the right panels, the hum and drone of the office can be minimised and being in the office will be far less distracting and much more productive.