What You Need to Know About Office Acoustics

Jo Horbury
meeting with people around a table

Acoustics play a very important role in creating the perfect work-space and this is how to be sure to get it right


Acoustics may not be the first thing you consider when designing your new office space, but they should be. Get acoustics wrong and your working environment simply won’t work. Acoustics should be a factor in all aspects of creating an office space, from design and layout to the placement of walls as well as the furniture and accessories used. Only by focusing on acoustics is it possible to create the perfect office environment where sound brings the space to life without distracting staff form their day to day tasks. It is all about creating a space that feels warm and welcoming without allowing sound to dominate and disturb. Below, we explain how to achieve the right balance.


Acoustic design:

Acoustics should form part of the design of your office space from the get-go. This includes building spaces where staff can work in peace and quiet. If the office space is open plan, this may mean creating dedicated areas or booths that are enclosed and separate from the main office. Depending on the type of business you run, you may also need to separate certain employees from others based on their roles and the level of sound they generate in doing their job. If you operate an IT support services company, for example, it would be advisable to place your customer support agents in a different section of the office to your marketing team.


Acoustic materials:

Once you have the design and layout of your office complete, it is important to consider the building materials you use and how they will impact acoustics. If your office has a particularly high ceiling, you may wish to use an acoustical ceiling suspension system to help absorb and soften sound. When it comes to creating privacy booths, the use of acoustic glass partitioning can create quiet spaces without staff feeling segregated from the rest of the team. The use of carpet instead of wood or laminate floors also helps to absorb sound as does the use of blinds and curtains instead of leaving windows bare.


Acoustic furniture:

The furniture you select for your office space can also change the acoustics of the room with a great choice of items available that have been designed to specifically reduce sound. This includes chairs and sofas with high backs as well as phone boxes, enclosed meeting tables, fabric bookcases and sound absorbing wall panels. Accessories can also play a part in office acoustics. Lamps installed above meeting spaces that come with fabric shades designed to trap sound are particularly effective. If you are looking to add some creativity and art to your office while still being mindful of acoustics, then place sound buffer sculptures at various points around the room. They can either be floor or ceiling mounted and are very effective when it comes to absorbing sound while still looking great. By considering acoustics from the very start of your office design or refit it is possible to factor in sound absorption without having to compromise on style. Ultimately, you want to achieve an office space that looks great and allows your employees to work to the best of their abilities, and acoustics and sound is a vital part of this. Building Interiors has unrivalled experience when it comes to creating office spaces that deliver on all requirements. If you’d like to know more, contact a member of our team here.