Reducing noise in a small office might require you to rearrange the layout, add extra furniture, hang paintings, lay down carpets, or install acoustic panels. It all goes down to localizing noise sources, defining what type they are and covering the surfaces that reflect soundwaves the most. Do you want to learn more? Then we invite you to read on!
In Search of the Sound-Culprits
Before we proceed with the methods of reducing noise in a small office, you need to conduct your research – a lookout for the culprits behind the noise in your workspace. Here, you should focus on three things:
First, you need to consider what causes noise in your office. Are cars outside too loud? Or perhaps it's the conversations inside? Don’t stop after you find one source – you need to find them all.
Localizing the sources of noise is crucial, as it will later determine what measures you will introduce to battle this workplace distraction. Thus, you need to be thorough.
The Type of Noise
There are two different types of unwanted sounds: impact noise vs. airborne noise. You need to understand which one occurs in your office, as there are different ways to handle each of them.
Another thing to consider is where the sounds are reflected. This is because reflections affect the acoustics significantly, not only reducing sound clarity but also making noise unbearable.
In this case, you should look for plain walls, floors, and the ceiling. Use the findings from your search of noise sources to discover which surfaces are the initial reflection points – this will help you determine what has to be covered first.
How to Reduce Noise in a Small Office
After this brief introduction, let’s get to the core. You’ve localized the noise sources, you know what type they are and how they are reflected, so there’s just one question left: how to reduce noise in your small office? Here are our answers to that!
Rearrange the Layout
The simplest yet often most effective way to reduce the noise is to rearrange the layout. By putting furniture, like cupboards, wardrobes, sets of drawers, or even carpets (excellent for impact noise) and paintings in the initial reflection points, you’ll prevent the soundwaves from spreading. You should also consider covering the noise sources if that’s possible and creating clear divisions if you work in an open-space office – it’ll prevent the sounds from traveling all over the room.
This, while often effective, isn’t the strongest measure. If the intensity of the noise is extensive, you might need to look for other options.
Get Some Plants
Plants are a must in any mindful workspace, but they also help block off noise. They are great, especially if you struggle with the sounds from the street, as you can place them on the windowsill. Other solutions for windows, apart from just changing them for stronger, soundproof ones, block the light, so plants are often a better choice.
Consider Office Pods
If the noise is a problem only during brainstorms or calls, you might invest in office phone booths. These come in various sizes and will be the perfect place for both those who need to jump on Zoom, and larger teams wanting to plan their strategy.
Get Some Books
Paper is excellent at absorbing soundwaves, so it might be a good idea to fill your office with bookshelves. This will prevent the noise from being reflected all over your open space.
Install Special Clips or Floor Underlayment
If you struggle with impact noise, you might opt for a bit more expensive options: floor underlayment and sound isolation clips. The former will stop unpleasant noises from objects hitting the floor, while the latter will do the same for the wall.
Opting for this option might be a bit costly and require extensive work in your office, so consider twice whether you truly need it.
Place Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels, especially those with noise-absorbing and soundproofing capabilities, will do true wonders in your office. They are specially designed to improve the acoustics and reduce the noise in buildings and are affordable, so they’ll be the perfect choice for a small office.
So, you know how to reduce noise in a small office – now it’s time to do it! Start with the less expensive methods, and when they don’t work, turn to professional equipment – such as our acoustic panels and office pods! Remember, noise is more than just a distraction, it affects productivity significantly, so reducing the level of noise in your small office should be your mission. It’s an investment that will pay off in increased efficiency of your employees!
You may also read: Acoustic Panels for Open Office Spaces: A Productivity Booster