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 (making a loud and confused noise.) offices can be levelled at the trend of open plan offices.
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:
1. Noise Stresses Us Out.
It’s not just deadlines and office politics that can cause stress at work.
Noise is a not-so-silent cause of stress in our bodies.
Loud sounds and prolonged exposure to certain noises trigger physiologic stress responses in our bodies – such as spikes in blood pressure and heart rate.
Even sounds that office workers are exposed to – phone rings, conversations – affect the rhythm and rate of our hearts.
Research has shown that even intermittent exposure to loud noises can lead to higher long-term stress hormone levels and hypertension.
2. Productivity Can Plummet When It’s Noisy.
Workers can be up to 66% […] READ MORE HERE: