Workspace Acoustics Myths and Facts
Myth #1. Large spaces have more privacy.
Fact: Choosing a large open space thinking it secures privacy is both impractical and counter-productive. While it may seem like more space prevents overhearing conversations, human speech travels more freely in a large open room. No matter how large space is, it is still prone to noise and privacy issues without proper workspace acoustics.
Myth #2. High partitions are the answer.
Fact: Installing high partitions in an existing workspace can cost a lot and even lead to more noise.
Building high partitions require structural reconstruction that goes up to the ceilings, which can cost you more time and money. High partitions give employees more sense of privacy, which makes them apt to talking louder since they fail to see how sound leaks to adjacent workspaces.
High partitions create individual work areas, resulting in inefficient use of energy (light, heat and air conditioning) and network connectivity. When it comes to operational costs and utility bills, individual work areas are more expensive compared to a shared workspace.
With the right choice of surface materials and acoustic panels, lower partitions are a more effective and affordable solution to workspace noise.
Myth #3. Doors and walls eliminate external noise.
Fact: Closed doors can’t completely prevent sound from coming into the room. Sound travels through the gaps in doors, windows, and even ceilings.
Offices separated by a single wall with drop ceiling tiles are common in modern office design. Sound travels freely through the standard drop ceiling tiles, reflecting off the roof deck down to the adjacent room.
Sound masking covers noise that travels across work areas, making them unintelligible and less distracting.
Myth #4. Sound masking hinders mass notification systems.
Fact: The background noise created by the intelligent sound masking system is not loud enough to impede PA systems broadcasts. Through sensors and a patented algorithm, an intelligent sound masking system automatically adapts to your workspace acoustics needs, covering sound when needed and backing off when not.
High-end sound masking systems can also be upgraded to add paging and/or music functions. You can experience better speech privacy and a clear paging/music system that does not interfere with mass notification systems.
Myth #5. Improving workspace acoustics is expensive.
Fact: Proactive workspace acoustic management does not have to be expensive. In fact, you can save more in the long run with the right acoustic solutions. Find out the ROI of better speech privacy.
Creating work zones in large spaces helps in improve workspace acoustics. Install demountable walls or acoustic panels as work area partitions to reduce acoustic and visual noise.
Acoustic panels as table partitions provide employees with a sense of privacy and help absorb noise. These functional art acoustic panels are available in different colors, shapes, and patterns that can go with the overall design of a workplace.
Install commercial sound masking systems to ensure speech privacy even in closed offices such as admin offices and conference rooms. Unobtrusive speakers provide a comfortable background noise that effectively covers noise from outside closed doors and adjacent rooms. Adaptive sound masking systems do not interfere with existing mass notification systems.
Good workspace acoustics helps you ensure a comfortable space for clients and employees.
Learn more about the importance of workspace acoustics for businesses. Download the Smart Workspaces Need Smart Acoustics white paper now.