Why Acoustics Matter in the Modern Office

Posted by Mandy Spivey on Mar 8th 2019

Why Acoustics Matter in the Modern Office

3D Fan Acoustic Wall Panel by UPLIFT Desk

I think we've all been there.

You're working on a project, really digging into it, connecting all the dots, making a lot of progress...and then it happens. Your coworker walks through your office, talking on her cell phone.

Suddenly, instead of your spreadsheets, your eyes are staring at her as she walks past, and before you know it, you're out of your state of flow, and distracted by another seemingly harmless, but productivity-draining sound in your office.

This can happen dozens of times a day, making it hard to work. It's difficult to measure just how much productivity you lose in these situations, but we have some facts at our disposal.

Did you know that open offices (the type of floor plans that are so synonymous with work in many professional industries today) without quiet rooms are up to 66% less productive than offices with quiet areas and/or rooms? So if you find yourself in a company that has its rooms set up like this, it's crucial to include a few acoustic furnishings in your space in order to counteract "the noise problem."

Materials like concrete, metal, and even wood are all prime surfaces that sound waves love; give them a large, open space with walls or floors made from these surfaces, and you have a battleground with your employees stuck in the middle, sound crashing from wall to wall, and back again. Echo has been reported to be a main contributor to headaches in the office as well, another condition that makes it hard to be productive.

The good news is, as businesses adopt these cost-saving office floor plans, it's easy to reduce sound with a collection of acoustic furnishings. We've been working on our line of UPLIFT Acoustics, making sure that we don't miss an opportunity to combine the best in acoustic performance in eye-catching designs that your employees will enjoy working around.

Desk-mounted Acoustics and Privacy Options

If you're working at a desk that sits back to back with another workstation, you might already know how distracting it can be. Working face to face to a person, hearing (and seeing) them all might actually make you miss the days of cubicles (hey, at least you got some privacy, right?). Well, it's time to create the quiet (and private) workstation that you need in order to focus, just by adding a few acoustics options to the three sides of your desk with our Acoustic Privacy Panels for Desks. Not only do these 0.6"-thick panels absorb up to 85% of noise that comes into contact with them, they increase the privacy in your space, too. Designed to fit on all sizes of our desktops, these panels allow you to create a quiet work sanctuary, one that helps you focus-up and keep distractions out.

Wall-mounted Acoustic Treatments

Panels for desks are just the start when it comes to outfitting your office for better acoustic performance. Our growing collection of acoustic furnishings that install directly to walls help cut back on a majority of high tones that create echoes, letting you create an eye-catching wall mural that can inspire, relax—or both—just by mixing up colors and sizes in your design.

Our tried-and-true 3D Wave Acoustic Wall Panels and 3D Tube Acoustic Wall Panels are quieting favorites, and come with versatile designs that coordinate with a majority of office stylings. And we recently added to our wall-mounted acoustic accessory product line, starting with the Rectangular Acoustic Wall Panel. When you're looking for tall panels that make it easy to cover a wall for better sound absorption, look no further than our rectangular panels, which are 0.95" thick and come in our most varied color options in our collection. If you're looking for a decorative wall piece that looks pretty and absorbs additional sound waves, our 3D Fan Acoustic Wall Panel is here to help. Create interesting patterns in different colors of light gray and red rock, giving your room an eye-catching focal piece that also reduces sound in the office.

And perhaps one of our most exciting acoustic options to bring to offices everywhere is our new Acoustic Phone Booth. This much-needed acoustic wall accessory is perfect for spaces with a lot of background noise, and acts as sound-sheltering cubby to help you take calls in quiet—or just collect your thoughts before you head to your next meeting. Available in two color schemes, gray/green or charcoal/gray, you can add a little 3-sided mini room to spare walls or walkways where you find members of your company hiding out, attempting to take hushed phone calls. They're sure to appreciate the gesture, and your other employees will, too.

Ceiling-hung Sound Settlers

Look up; one of the biggest culprits to background noise at work is in every room in your office. The ceiling, as innocent looking as it might be, can actually be contributing to a lot of reverberation and echo. But you're in luck! Simply adding a suspended acoustic furnishing can do just the trick to settle down those extra decibels. We already had one option before, our popular 3D Acoustic Ceiling Waffle Cloud, which looks great hung over a conference table or break room. And now we have two new hanging acoustuics: the Rectangular Acoustic Ceiling Cloud and the Circular Acoustic Ceiling Cloud, two minimalist shape options that are easy to hang, add a fun decoration to empty spaces, and reduce sound by up to 86%.

Portable, Temporary Sound Walls

And if you're looking for a quick and easy way to literally create a quiet room for you or your team, we do have versatile options that do just that. Configure a sound-proofing wall that reduces sound up to 86% of sound with our 3-Panel Acoustic Room Divider. Start with three panels, connecting them to make a tri-fold wall that you can place around your work area (or a chatty coworker). We've tested this acoustic wall in our office*, and are happy to report back that this is an ideal solution to bring the noise down a few notches, helping everyone keep their concentration for longer.

Outfit Your Whole Space for Better Sound

At the end of the day, the acoustic choices you bring into your workspace are important and necessary to help your company produce its best work. If you're looking for ways to help everyone maintain focus, Acoustics by UPLIFT Desk are the the answer to your cacophonous phone calls, ubiquitous office chitchat, and every noise in between. Need help deciding what to bring into your space to calm the sound waves? Call, email, or chat us live here on our site for personal shopping help from our team. We'd love to assist you in finding the perfect products to keep everyone working at the peak of productivity.

*This test consisted of placing the 3-panel divider at the open area around a coworker's cubicle. Several of the employees that work closest with her, and many that work on the other side of the room, reported a significant reduction in sound volume, which led to positive correlations in productivity.