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reduce office noise

8 ways to reduce noise in the office

How can you reduce noise at work?

We’ve all been there. Desperately trying to focus on a work task that demands your full attention, and there’s just too much noise around you. Office noise can be highly distracting, resulting in more mistakes, increased stress, lack of focus and an impact on overall employee wellbeing. Excessive noise has also been shown to reduce productivity by up to 66%.

So, what can you do to reduce noise in the office? Here are a few helpful suggestions.

What are the types of office noises?

The very nature of the office is noisy, with a constant array of background sounds to deal with. These include:

  • Keyboards tapping away
  • Mouse clicking
  • Phones ringing
  • Reverberating sounds
  • Colleagues on the phone talking
  • Conversations in the background
  • Equipment / machine sounds – e.g. printers, photocopiers, kettles boiling, microwaves

What are the solutions for noise reduction?

noise cancelling headphones


1. Noise Cancelling Headphones

If you require complete noise cancellation, try using some headphones that block out all sounds around you. The Tilde Air Active Noise Cancelling (ANC) headset is a top of the range, lightweight model with comfortable neckband and effective at removing exterior noises to help you focus. You could try playing music to help you perform tasks more effectively.



2. Try meditation

If you are trying to focus on your task and block out noise around you, try meditation away from the office. Meditation can help you become more focussed and increase your attention span. Studies have shown that mindfulness meditation decreases activity in the part of the brain that controls mind-wandering, helping you become less distracted and more focussed when dealing with a task.


Silent Room acoustic hubs

3. Create quiet spaces

However great you are at zoning out of the noisy office, there comes a time when you need absolute quiet. Use a separate room – a quiet space to completely focus on a task that requires a lot of attention or for more detailed work. Install Meeting booths these are space away from the open plan layout that you can make phone calls or focus on sensitive information that you may want to keep private.




4. Add partitions and screens

Positioning low level or high level partitions between desks can also help create a divide whilst absorbing some reverberating sound. You could also add cubicles between desks or add coloured screens as partitions to match your office décor.


Piano acoustics sound absorbing wall panels

5. Noise absorption equipment

Installing noise absorption products within the office can also help minimse reverberating sounds. Sound absorption panels help dampen sounds and are particularly effective if well placed. Here are a few options:

Acoustic wall tiles – noise absorbing and decorative. Other options are suspended sound absorbing panels.

Flooring – concrete or tiles can add to noise pollution. Consider carpet, hardwood or LVT for practical noise absorbing flooring.

Soft furniture – this also helps to absorb sound compared to plastic or wooden alternatives.

bank of office desks


6. Consider office layout

Banks of desks clustered together can help keep noise more compartmentalised. Consider creating a separate space or room for noisy equipment such as printers, photocopiers and fax machines to help avoid interruptions. People tend to congregate and chat around these machines which can add to the disturbance.

canteen tables

7. Create a noisy area!

We can't be quiet all the time!

Ensure you have a canteen area and meeting rooms for training sessions.

These are spaces that allow everyone to be noisy without worrying about disturbing others.

office plants

8. Add some plants

Plants have also been shown to offer noise reduction. Consider the placement of your plants - the larger the plant, the bigger the impact of noise reduction. You could even create a living wall which also serves as an aesthetic feature. Plants have a range of other benefits for the office including reducing pollution and creating a more natural feel.

If you need help reducing noise in your office, then give us a call to see how our range of products can help you.

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