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Acoustic environment in Finnish offices, the summary of questionnaire studies
Riikka Helenius, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health


The result from a recent office study including 8 Finnish offices were presented. The acoustical conditions of the 8 offices represented typical Finnish offices. Noise and thermal conditions were experienced as the most disturbing work environment factors. The most distracting sound sources…

were nearby speech and noises from human activities. Noise was most detrimental to cognitively demanding work tasks. People changed their working strategies to cope with noise. The acoustic environment was experienced much more unsatisfactory in open plan offices than in single person rooms. Selfestimated waste of working time due to noise was twofold in open plan offices. Noise is a major work environment problem especially in open plan offices. The relative amount of open areas is increasing in new office buildings. Therefore, the acoustic design should be taken more seriously in future architectural design.

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