When it comes to office work, ergonomic furniture, optimal lighting, or ambient temperature are usually kept in mind. However, the acceptable level of noise in an office and the problems connected with it are less frequently thought about, while… Excessive, tiring, distracting noise in open spaces is one of the most frequent reasons for office workers to complain, and this situation urgently requires an improvement in acoustics in a company. HUSH booths are a quick and effective solution.
Open space offices have many undeniable advantages, but they are not without disadvantages. The biggest one is the office acoustics and – especially with a large team – persistent room noise. Fortunately, even in an already furnished office, this can be remedied by using various types of sound-absorbing furnishings (panels, walls) or by placing “obstacles” in the way of the sound that travels through the interior (for example, in the form of an eye-pleasing plant shelf, or a living, green wall).
In order to “quiet” open space employees, it is worth placing acoustic booths in the office. Those who are tired of noise can “breathe” a little there, working in silence, while the noisiest ones can hold telephone conversations or tempestuous meetings inside, without disturbing others. Check: https://hushoffice.com/en/
Occupational hygiene, or… why fight noise in the office?
Good acoustics in the office, as well as well-chosen lighting, temperature, ergonomic chairs, desks, etc., have a direct influence on the well-being of employees, which translates into their motivation and efficiency. Noise in an open space makes it difficult to maintain an appropriate level of focus on work, which prolongs the time it takes to complete a task.
There is so much going on in such a space that it is easy to interrupt activities (even completely unconsciously), and it takes time to get back to them and refocus on the activity at hand. This already translates into concrete company losses, but it does not stop there.
Difficulty in focusing on work also translates into frustration for workers due to backlogs piling up, and the noise itself can cause unbearable headaches. It is therefore clear that this must be combated. One of the best weapons is acoustic booths in the office.
Ergonomic sound standard and acoustic properties of HUSH booths
Open office space is filled with a variety of sounds – not all disturbing in the same way. Only some of them can effectively distract from work. For example, the monotonous background noise of an air conditioner may give you a headache after hours, but it does not usually interrupt your work, whereas the colleague next to you on the phone does.
It turns out that not only volume but also pitch and rhythm are important. Far less oppressive than the high-pitched tones are the low-pitched tones, and a steady sound than a surprising, non-uniform, and random one. That’s why it’s easier to endure the sound of printing, for example than a giggling squeaky colleague who laughs every now and then while looking at memes on Facebook.
For the same reason you don’t stop working because of the traffic outside your window, but you do stop working when the phone rings or something falls off your desk in an open space. The category of most acoustically disturbing events also includes the various types of heated discussions that take place in a shared office space. The recipe for this is HUSH!
What do office acoustic standards look like?
According to current Polish regulations, in rooms where standard, not very complex office work is carried out, the acceptable noise level is 55 to 65 decibels. The standards do not spoil workers as a sound reaching this value is about the same as the sound of a hoover being switched on. It doesn’t bother you for a while, but an eight-hour working day is quite a challenge in these conditions.
It is also worth remembering that in an open space office there are different people doing different tasks. Some of them require more concentration because they are simply more difficult. For this type of mental work, health and safety rules stipulate 35 – 40 decibels. In order to guarantee such spaces in a shared office space, the company should equip it with acoustic booths.
What are the acoustic conditions for working in a hush box?
The soundproofed enclosures of the HUSH range (closed models) provide the perfect conditions for focused work. Inside, only very muffled sounds of the open space can reach the employee from outside, with their intensity resembling only a gentle murmur or whisper.
This kind of sound not only does not disturb but actually helps to concentrate because it is unhealthy for a person to be completely cut off from acoustic stimuli.
Why can’t an acoustic booth be 100% soundproofed?
A deafening silence is uncomfortable – it causes anxiety. Besides, it is not advisable for safety reasons. A worker in an acoustic enclosure must have some degree of control over what is happening outside to hear even the sound of a fire alarm or any other warning of danger.