If you’re finding it hard to focus on work at home (or in the office), you’re not alone.
Whether it’s workplace distractions, noisy environments, or lack of privacy, all can impact your productivity.
Acoustics, especially, are often overlooked when designing a space because it’s easier to focus on the most visible items such as furniture, fixtures, and equipment (FF&E).
But, this invisible phenomenon is always at play!
Implementing the right acoustics can create a well-balanced workspace for you that improves your well-being.
Here are a few examples of office acoustic solutions you can try.
But First, Here’s an Overview of Acoustics
When we discuss acoustics, we first need to define sound.
According to Buzzi Space, sound equals pressure waves (energy created by vibrations moving through the air or another medium).
Our inner ear then converts these vibrations to electric signals, which our brain receives and processes, ultimately determining how we perceive sound.
- A sound’s frequency determines its tone, while its decibel determines its intensity.
- A sound’s wavelength = its frequency (the repetitive vibrations per cycle in Hertz), ranging between 20 to 20,000 Hertz.
- Higher frequency and shorter waves = a higher tone!
- Decibels express the ratio of sound intensity (volume). We can hear between 0-140 decibels.
Unfortunately, in today’s open space workplaces, you may experience noise pollution between 60-80 decibels.
But, the recommended background noise level in an office setting should be around 45 decibels.
To help reduce workplace noise levels (and increase productivity), these seven companies have designed several acoustic solutions that may be a fit for you and your workplace:
One of BuzziSpace’s lighting solutions, the BuzziChip features an upholstered curved body known to absorb low, mid, and high frequencies. This dual functional product provides overhead illumination and sound absorpriton in a playful aesthetic. BuzziSpace also offers an RT60 v3.0 app for iPhone, which measures reverberation (allowing you to simulate how these solutions will boost your space’s acoustics).
Greenmood designs and produces green screens, walls, furniture, and additional design and architectural products constructed from 100% natural preserved plants. The best part? Their green products require virtually no maintenance (thanks to their plant preservation process). One of their plant sources contains naturally preserved mosses, which provide sound-reducing qualities (tested by a certified laboratory in Belgium). With Greenmood products, you can bring the acoustic and aesthetic benefits of nature to corporate environments that can sometimes feel sterile and stagnant.
Acoustic partitions can also help bring interior sound to acceptable decibel levels and define zones inside a larger office space. ReQuiet offers partitions made from recycled food-grade plastic. You can place these sound-absorbing materials near your workplace or directly on a table. Additionally, ReQuiet’s partitions are hypoallergenic and do not accumulate dust, making them ideal for public spaces.
With its flexible fabric skin on a lightweight aluminum frame, Carnegie’s canvas offers a creative collection of freestanding space dividers (with static floor plates or mobile caster bases for easy mobility). With Carnegie’s wide range of textiles and 300 colorways and patterns, canvas can also be customized for various office space solutions. They even offer acoustic and non-acoustic panels that can be used either as visual breaks or for sound absorption in multi-zone open environments.
EzoBord offers high-performance acoustic materials that are lightweight, flexible, and easy to install. They provide several shapes, colors, and patterns suitable for any bespoke interior, including geo clouds, ceiling baffles, grid canopies, and full sheet clouds. Collaborating with designers, architects, and global brands directly, EzoBord makes their process simple and sustainable by using raw recycled materials.
FilzFelt fuses filz, the German word for felt, with its English counterpart felt. Their product line includes felt sourced from 100% German-milled wool, offering solutions for walls, flooring, and more! Filzfelt also offers full custom fabrication services.
Mogu’s acoustic collection is made from soft, foam-like mycelium (the vegetative stage of mushrooms) materials and upcycled textile remains. As a result, their panels are one of the most sustainable acoustic solutions currently on the market. Mogu is also known for their unique velvety finishing and 3D shapes, which both maximize sound absorption.
For additional resources, check out these related articles:
12 Best Hybrid Work Solutions Introduced at NeoCon 2022
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Acoustic Wall Paneling For Modern Interiors
Shivani is an expert writer for Gather who covers interior design, decorating, and home improvement. She has worked as a residential interior designer for 4+ years and has extensive training in space planning, 3D renderings, 2D floorplans, whole room furnishing and décor, and color consulting. She is passionate about educating communities on industry topics and has been featured in Better Homes & Gardens, The Spruce, My Domaine, Domino, Martha Stewart, and Atlanta Magazine. Currently, she is also completing her residential interior design certificate from Rhode Island School of Design’s continuing education program.