Six ways to get more peace in the office
A survey among 1200 employees shows that six in ten percieve the sounds in the workplace as disturbing. Sounds from the surrounding people, not computers or fans, disturbs the most. Frans Davidsson recently made recommendations based on the results from this study in swedish magazine Chef.
Frans Davidsson, Concept Developer - Modern Office, Ecophon Sweden
According to Frans, it is not the sound from people who sit the closest that we get upset about. On the contrary, those sitting within four to five meters from us, we like to hear. "Sounds coming from the people around us are generally perceived as positive. Humans are curious by nature. We want to hear what we may find useful"
Therefore it is important that people who are in the same project sit in close proximity. Then the employees can benefit from overhearing other people's conversations. But when the sounds come from people further away from us, about 10 meters, they are percieved as disturbing.
"A common mistake is the lack of quiet rooms. Employees must have a place where they can work undisturbed. Most people need at least a few hours every day", says Frans Davidsson about the open plan office.
How to get more peace in open plan offices:
1. Inform about the benefits and risks when sitting in open plan.
2. Have clear codes of conduct - as you've decided together.
3. Make sure as many people as possible have laptops so they can move to the quiet room when they need to. Install wireless network in the office so that you can work anywhere.
4. Have a sufficient number of quiet rooms. Start with at least a quiet room per ten employees. Quiet rooms should be visible from the open office.
5. Invest in sound-insulating and sound-absorbing materials and screens - then you can reduce sound propagation.
6. Hold meetings in separate meeting rooms, including spontaneous meetings.