Wednesday, April 27, 2016

12 Ways Noise Affects Worker Well-being And Productivity

The open-plan design of modern offices can lead to harsh acoustic environments, which can harm worker productivity and well-being.

Noise in the workplace annoys us – a lot.


Surveys show that we care more about interior acoustics than we do about how clean our workplaces are, what we sit on and the temperature of our offices.

This sucks because the world is getting louder. Much louder. And our workplaces are not immune.

But the volume isn’t being cranked up on its own. A lot of the blame for clamorous offices can be levelled at the trend of open plan offices.

'Sound affects us psychologically, cognitively and behaviourally, even though we're not aware of it' - Julian Treasure, CEO The Sound Agency.
These sleek, open spaces are usually comprised of reflective easy-to-clean surfaces (think glass and concrete), which reflect sound, create harsh echoes and compound environmental noises.

But while the debate between open plan offices and cubicles rages on – there is one thing we are certain of, and that is that open plan offices are almost always the noisiest of the two. Now accounting for over 70% of modern offices, it is safe to say the open-plan phenomenon is here to stay.

This is bad news for workers and employers alike. Excessive noise can mean more than just mild irritation – it can harm productivity, well-being, happiness, and most importantly, our physical health.

Here are 12 ways that workplace noise affects worker well-being and productivity:

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As seen on resonics

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