How to stop echo in an office? You can install acoustic panels, place furniture (bookshelves do the trick!), or textiles. There are many ways of getting rid of this problem, and we will show you 6 of them in this article. Do you have an echo problem in your workplace? Then keep reading!
What Causes the Echo in Offices?
Before we proceed with our ways to reduce echo in an office, we need to explain what causes it. This will help you understand why our methods work or even come up with your own solutions. So, what’s the reason behind this problem?
It all goes down to the soundwaves. Each sound you make is actually an invisible wave traveling through the air, until their energy is dissipated through absorption. Some surfaces might accelerate this process – like acoustic panels – but others don’t. Instead, they reflect the soundwaves, causing what we know as an echo.
What surfaces reflect these waves? Mainly hard, flat ones. The perfect example of such a surface are walls, and they are the main perpetrators behind the echo in any office. However, floors and ceilings might also have a similar effect. Therefore, most of our solutions to reduce echo in the office somewhat cover these places.
How to Stop Echo in an Office?
There are many ways how you can stop echo in an office, some of which don’t require professional acoustic materials, some of which do. Often, you will have to combine some of the solutions together to get the desired result, but in the end, you will be able to get rid of this problem easily and affordably. So, what do we suggest?
- Carpets and floor coverings – Let’s start from the bottom and focus on the floor. In this case, you do not want to use panels – they’re too hard and will reflect the soundwaves, causing an echo. Instead, you should opt for floor coverings. If this is not an option, consider placing some carpets – they should also help you reduce the unpleasant noise reflection.
- Acoustic panels – These specialized panels will be an excellent addition to your walls. If you choose the absorption ones, you’ll see (or rather hear) a significant difference in the sound quality. You may also place them (or hang them under) the ceiling if this is the surface that causes most problems. Plus, they come in various designs, so you’ll find ones that will fit your office decor.
- Bookshelves – Books are great at reducing echo in an office since they have great sound-absorbing qualities. Therefore, it’s good to put some bookshelves on each wall, especially since it’s an inexpensive solution.
- Curtains – If you’re using blinds in your office, you should support them with curtains. Again, blinds create a hard, sound-reflective surface so they might be the culprit causing echos, and curtains will absorb the soundwaves on their way before they’ll be able to hit the blinds and reflect back.
- Office screens – While office screens aren’t placed directly on the hard surfaces that reflect the soundwaves, they do a different, important job – they absorb the sound before it even reaches the walls. Therefore, they will also be an effective way to reduce echo in your office.
- Sectioning your space – Echo might be especially problematic if the room is large, for instance, in big open-plan offices. Therefore, you might want to section it somehow. For this reason, you can use furniture, like cabinets, or even hang acoustic blankets (though it won’t be as pleasant to pass through, so it might not always be the best option).
Why Do You Need to Reduce Echo in an Office?
Do you need to care about echoes in the office? Yes! They can cause several problems that will affect your employees’ productivity and well-being, so it’s crucial to get rid of this issue as quickly and effectively as possible. Just take a look at the negative impact of echo:
- reduced speech intelligibility,
- higher noise levels (check our article on noise and productivity),
- decreased employee comfort.
As you can see, the problem of echo is severe, so you ought to battle it.
We hope that our tips on how to reduce echo in an office will help you improve the sound quality in your workplace. After all, the better it is, the more efficient your employees will be. Start with the simplest solutions, like furniture and carpets and follow up with more professional ones, like acoustic curtains or panels – this way, you’ll reduce echoes in a cost-effective way.Did you like this article? We also suggest reading: Office Soundproofing—Why It’s Important and How to Do It