Open Office Acoustic Solutions: Open Plan Space Acoustics Guide

by Wade Larkin on

Open Office Acoustic Solutions: Open Plan Space Acoustics Guide

For employees working in an office environment, a noisy workplace can distract, reduce productivity, increase stress and affect overall morale. Nowadays, open-plan offices have become the norm as companies look to encourage collaboration, communication and creativity. It is essential to actively consider open office acoustic solutions to combat noise-related stress and concentration difficulties in working environments.

With just a few key additions to your furnishings, you might be surprised at how easy it is to reduce sound travel in an open plan space. These additions, combined with some minor structural alterations, if necessary, will result in noticeable benefits for staff productivity and morale.

How Does Sound Travel?

Sound travels in mechanical waves. These sound waves travel from the source throughout the surrounding environment. When the sound encounters a surface, parts are absorbed, and parts are reflected.

When energy from a number of sources accumulates, it adds to the sound in a room, known as reverberation. The greater the reverberation in a room, the longer it takes for sound to disappear.

Sound waves lose energy as they travel and bounce off objects in their path. As such, considered placement of sound-absorbing finishes or furniture will minimise sound travelling over distance by suppressing sound reflections from the room. This will create a less harsh environment, increasing one’s capacity to concentrate.

The Benefits of Open Plan Working Spaces

A healthy, happy workforce is the key component for a productive, successful business in the long-term.

Open-plan office environments improve communication and collaborativity, making it easier for your workforce to interact with each other due to the lack of inhibiting barriers.

Open-plan office environments also improve overall company culture – working in isolation makes it difficult for your team members to bond and converse and often divides the company into departments. Breaking down these barriers allows employees to interact with all company members, which can often lead to inspired creativity as workers come together with varying skillsets and assist each other in their respective tasks.

Why Are Acoustics Important for Open-Plan Environments?

The increased noise levels from open-plan office layouts may increase distractions for your team.

However, thoughtful open plan office acoustic design can help minimise this issue, giving your team the space they need to concentrate on their work without negating the benefits of increased collaboration.

Open Plan Office Acoustic Design

Designing and styling open-plan corporate, education and public space fit-outs intentionally with acoustics in mind is integral to creating more enjoyable spaces for staff, customers and visitors.

First, consider the overall layout of the office. For example, placing desks in a cluster per department can help compartmentalise noise around the office. Rearranging noisy office equipment such as printers will also assist in reducing office noise.

The implementation of acoustic wall panels throughout the office space is another design solution that should be taken to improve the flow of sound through your office as it absorbs inbound noise.

Acoustic Solutions for Open-Plan Spaces

Outside of structural materials and office layout, the considered use of relevant, acoustically beneficially furniture is the best way to improve open plan office acoustics.

NPS Commercial Furniture, located in North Queensland, offers a wide range of high-quality acoustic solutions and accessories that aid in making open-plan office environments more functional, productive and enjoyable to be in. We offer full-service (meaning we can quote, purchase and install) high-quality furniture sourced from leading international and Australian brands.

If you or your employees are working in a noisy environment, it’s time to consider some of the following solutions.

Install Soundproof Booths

Soundproof booths offer a private space where employees can diligently get on with their tasks or take phone calls. Framery soundproof booths possess a superior sound insulation system which contains noise, convenient in open-plan office layouts.

Install Work & Meeting Pods with Acoustic Screens

Martela PodWork, Martela PodMeeting and Martela PodLounge products are available in various quality upholstery materials, creating a unified solution for those in the office. These workstations come equipped with fully acoustic, wrap-around walls for added privacy.

Install Acoustic Ceiling Pendant Lights

Maintain comfortable levels of sound in any space with the wider coverage of PLN Group’s hush lamps. Through award-winning design, Hush Round integrates lighting and acoustic to create peaceful spaces.

Install Acoustic Room Dividers

Acoustic room dividers are a great way to improve noise flow in open-plan layouts. Offecct’s room divider not only absorbs and diffuses sound but doubles as a stylish, contemporary room divider.


Include Upholstered Lounges

As touched on earlier, furniture can absorb sound and diffuse its spread. + Halle’s collection of upholstered lounges is an excellent, contemporary solution to inspire collaboration, encourage social activity and diffuse sound.

Use Plants

Not only do plants look great, improve well-being and improve air quality – they reduce noise in a space too. The O2asis planters by Offecct are a stylish, biodiverse decoration that provides excellent noise reduction in open-plan environments.

Improve Open Plan Office Acoustics with NPS Commercial Furniture

Servicing all of North Queensland, NPS Commercial Furniture has exclusive access to leading Australian and International brands, offering a wide range of high-quality accessories that provide open office acoustic solutions.

To discover more, contact us today on 1300 889 194, or visit one of our showrooms to experience the quality of our products.