Open office layouts can offer some amazing benefits to companies in almost any industry. They can encourage teamwork and collaboration, foster creativity and create a greater sense of camaraderie. However, if you don’t take steps to actively keep noise levels to a minimum, that open environment may actually hinder employees’ performance rather than help it.
Before you make the move to an open floor plan, consider the following tips designed to help keep office noise levels at a manageable level:
1. Explore Technology Solutions Designed to Mask Noise
You want employees to be able to work collaboratively. If there’s too much noise though, that extra sound can actually hinder productivity, negating the benefits you were trying to achieve in the first place. Sound masking technologies can help.
These solutions rely on ambient noise to try to cover up the sounds you don’t want to carry across the floor, such as individual phone conversations or impromptu meetings at workstations. There are a variety of sound masking options available, from “white noise” to sounds designed to mimic the sound of rain.
2. Soft Surfaces Absorb Noise
Another strategy that can help limit sounds from carrying in an open office floor plan is to consider how furniture, flooring and walls can be revamped to absorb extra noise. Hard surfaces, such as the concrete walls, metal desks, hard-backed chairs and tile flooring frequently found in many office settings, simply reflect sounds rather than absorbing them, so sounds simply bounce around in offices. This can be frustrating and distracting for employees, cutting into productivity.
Consider switching to upholstered chairs, cushion-backed carpeting or carpet-tiles and other cosmetic changes that can do wonders to lower your office’s sound profile.
3. Have Dedicated Quiet Spaces and Conference Rooms
Finally, in the pursuit of encouraging greater collaboration and innovation, don’t forget that every open office needs some dedicated spaces for employees to use for breakout conferences, private meetings or to handle sensitive conversations.
You can make the most of these resources by implementing automation and technology tools designed to streamline room reservations. Of course, conference and other breakout meeting rooms should also be equipped with the technology employees need to facilitate their work most effectively. Tools like dynamic whiteboards are a great option for teams with members in different physical locations, allowing everyone to participate and contribute ideas.
Choose Networking and Collaboration Tools Designed to Help You Make the Most of Your Open Office
Choosing an open office concept instead of traditional cubicles or walled offices can result in significant successes for your employees, and for your company as a whole. When you approach your open office arrangement with these tips to minimize extraneous noise in mind, you can maximize the layout’s effectiveness.
At Intervale Technologies, we are committed to helping New England companies evaluate, select and implement telephone and data networks and systems, board room, conference room and data center technologies designed to help businesses grow in an efficient, cost-effective manner.
To learn more about how we can help, contact us online today or call us at (866) 628-9494.