Working in a noisy office reduces productivity and wellbeing

In physical jobs, noises produced by employees and their colleagues are part and parcel of the environment while for people working in offices the opposite is true.

They can lose their focus if colleagues are simply having a conversation within earshot. It does not matter what the topic is, for as long as we hear someone talking, we automatically want to know what it is all about.

Lack of focus reduces our efficiency at work.

Conversations are not the only elements to disturb work environments. Concentration can also be disrupted by other noises that distract us from our work flow: drilling, footsteps, phones, chocolate wrappers being opened, to name a few. Individuals react to different noises, and while some people are able to focus on their work in the midst of chaos, others find it easiest to work in complete silence.

Office work is known to be especially difficult in open-plan offices, for an obvious reason: sounds move freely and can be heard from a distance.

Interruptions reduce productivity and affect well-being at work

Research shows that it takes about 15 minutes for a person to refocus on a task to the same level as before they were disrupted. This means that four interruptions reduce the working day by an hour.

In all fairness, four interruptions a day is very few. How many times do you hear this every day: “Hey, just a quick question, do you have a second?” And how often is your concentration interrupted by a phone call, an email or an instant message? I’m sure everyone working in an office experiences interruptions such as these surprisingly often.

In addition to reduced productivity, difficulties focusing on work also affect office workers’ well-being. Tasks do not necessarily progress as expected, and in order to complete jobs, employees may have to work in the evenings and at weekends. They are under pressure and their job feels more stressful than it really is.

In the worst case scenario, people may start looking for a new job, which means that the unsuitable office space costs the employer both in terms of reduced productivity and loss of knowledge capital.

Lessees expect quiet premises

In order to obtain a work environment that meets its employees’ needs, a company has two options: find premises that better support its operations, or improve the existing premises. Companies leasing premises should consider the space requirements of their current and potential clients and what to do to adjust the premises.

Ideally, the offices can be customised to suit the client’s needs. It is essential for the office to have quiet spaces with clearly set out rules for use. The main point is to ensure that people can focus on their job: phones must be silenced, and conversations and other types of disturbances are not allowed.

When there are a sufficient number of quiet spaces and everyone follows the rules, the noise levels and resulting problems can be kept under control. If employees need a workspace for working with a group of people, they can do so in meetings rooms, break out areas or open spaces where conversations are permitted.

From a multifunctional space to a multi-space office

The modern work space model is called a multi-space office. A multifunctional space and a multi-space office are very different: a multifunctional space houses a variety of operations while a multi-space office has particular spaces for a variety of operations.

The most efficient way to change an office is to divide it into zones using flexible solutions. In addition to this – or if you want to keep the changes as simple as possible – you can opt for quiet pods that are customised according to the requirements.

Our Module Solutions spaces can be dismantled, stored and set up again so that every lessee can have just the right number of quiet spaces to suit them. These can be phone booths, meeting rooms or work spaces.

Quiet pods guarantee peace and quiet – explore the options!

LATEST NEWS

Office rules rule – an easy way to enhance productivity and job satisfaction
Working in a noisy office reduces productivity and wellbeing
Looking to enhance productivity of your employees? Give their brains some space
A multi-space office saves space, money and nerves – tips for planning