In an ideal world an office environment should be a quiet place to work. Unfortunately while sitting at your office desk you cannot help but be distracted by the noise around you. There are different types of noises in the office and these are:
- Steady – This is continuous background noise. This can be noise from an air conditioning unit or something similar.
- Intermittent – This is sound that is irregular or that comes and goes. For example the ring from a telephone or the noise from a fax machine or printer.
- Impact – These are short bursts of sound. This can be made from stationary or sounds from a computer.
All of these noises combined can increase the sound levels and become distracting and in some cases very stressful. The usual sound levels in offices can be between 45-60 dB which is below the 80dB limit noise level for 8 hours. However exposure to this noise day after day can start to prove stressful.
There are a number of ways that you can help to reduce these noise levels, below are some of them:
One of the most effective ways of reducing the level of noise in an office is the inclusion of office screens or office partitions. These can be ceiling height screens that help separate an office or even freestanding screens. Although it might not seem like it, freestanding screens are an affordable solution to your noise problem. When an employee is seated at their desk or on their operator chair or office chair, their head is lower than the height of the screen. Even though noise can still come over the screen, it still can block out part of the noise. Also the screens are made of fabric which actually helps to absorb the sound rather than reflecting the sound back into the office.
Designating quiet rooms where working quietly is needed can help also. If an employee feels they need to work in a quiet environment, placing hot desks in a room will provide them with an area that they can go
Finally the use of ear plug can really help too. This might be an extreme measure, however ear plugs deaden the sound and provide an affordable solution to your noise problem.