Acoustic comfort is one of the most influential aspects of workers’ health and well-being. Yet, the benefits of good acoustics is an often critical and overlooked aspect of workplace design.
An acoustically comfortable office is a productive office
In offices, noise can come from different sources. From external noise pollution, traffic or nearby construction work, to that generated inside by computers, printers, photocopiers or air conditioning/ventilation systems. But the most distracting noise comes from other people’s conversations or phone calls, which can be more destructive than continuous noise ‘with no content’. We also have a tendency to speak louder in noisy environments in order to hear and be heard, compounding the negative effects produced.
As the workplace evolves, some organizations are trying to drive efficiency by pushing more workers into smaller open plan spaces, often compromising acoustic comfort for employees.
Acoustics in restaurants
Consumer surveys have found that excessive noise is the top complaint diners have ahead of service, crowds, or even food issues. Coffee shops and restaurants strive to create an atmosphere with a unique identity. Large glass facades, hard floors, reflective walls, ceilings and bare tables is the current trend today. The minimalistic open plan decor allows for sound to reflect off many hard surfaces resulting in a buildup of noise due to a sustained reverberant field.
When a restaurant becomes busier and more people try to communicate, the noise levels increase. To compensate, diners begin to raise their voices in order to be heard. This is referred to as the Lombard Effect. Whilst noise conveys a sense of energy and creates a vibrant atmosphere the effort and concentration required to communicate leaves one feeling exhausted and mentally fatigued. Poor acoustics has implications. Diners could leave without dessert or coffee and repeat business becoming more difficult to attain.
Acoustic treatment solutions help improve the comfort of those who use any space by helping reduce unwanted noise caused by reflections from hard surfaces. If the goal is to improve the sound quality within your space, acoustic treatment can help control the levels of unwanted ambient echo. If the echoes are allowed to carry in the room, background noise can build to uncomfortable levels as your guests strain to hold a conversation. Eliminating unwanted noise distraction results in a healthier environment and greater ease of communication.
Who benefits from Acoustic comfort?
Employees: A more comfortable work environment with fewer distractions; reduced stress, improved health and overall well-being
Business Owners / HR Managers: Improved working conditions for employees; productivity, revenue, and customer retention
Facility Managers: Helps increase satisfaction among guests, customers, and workers; reduces operating costs
Property Managers: Increases the value of your space, reduced level of complaints
Architects: Improve the acoustical environment of new or retrofitted spaces
Where can Acoustic Treatment be helpful?
Open Offices, Private Offices, Meeting Rooms, Lobbies, Atriums: A positive work environment plays a key role in worker productivity and the success of a business. The goal with any office soundproofing strategy should be to maximize the sound values within the space, so that the employees perform at peak levels.
Restaurants: Progressive restaurants with a long term view for success in their business plan understand that their customers are there to not just eat, but to converse with family and friends. Restaurant soundproofing is a necessary step to control noise levels, so guests can be more comfortable.
Education: Libraries, Classrooms, Lecture Halls, Testing Centers
Church Acoustics: Straining to Hear? Producing premium sound quality is a must for understanding the spoken word and an overall feeling of comfort within your House of Worship.
Open Public Spaces, Studios, Museums, Theatres, Malls, etc.: Too Loud? Echoes can greatly diminish the function of public spaces. As sound waves spread throughout a space, the hard surfaces reflect the echoes back, producing blurred sound signals and elevated levels of background noise. This will compromise the intended use of the space.
Hospitality: Hotel Rooms, Reception Areas, Spas
Technology: Engineering and Research Labs, Co-share Spaces, Huddle Rooms