Why Office Acoustics Matters?

Proper acoustics in the workplace allow employees to focus on their tasks and remain productive. On the other hand, a noisy office without the necessary acoustic comfort hinders the well-being and performance of the employees.

How does the office sound? Light background music, indistinct chatter, printers, phone calls, perhaps tiny details that most of employees usually ignore. But how tiny are these distractions when they need to concentrate? According to scientific studies, employees are distracted every 11 minutes. In this way, distractions significantly affect the person on many levels, such as psychological, cognitive and behavioral.


Causal relationships have been discovered between noise and various effects like annoyance, anxiety, depression. This brings to the conclusion that the sound environment has a significant impact on the psychological well-being of people.


Concentrating in a noisy place can be very challenging. Reading and writing, these two activities involve internal vocalization, the voice inside the head. So, the brain finds it difficult to process both inner and external voices at the same time.


Fast music increases the speed at which employees complete their tasks, however,It causes some people to make more mistakes. The impact of music on performance differs. Some people demonstrate better concentration and attention, while others consider music to be as distracting as noise.

The power of acoustics

Proper acoustics will allow employees to focus on their tasks and stay productive. On the other side, a noisy office with poor sound absorption, hampers workers’ well-being and performance.
According to scientific studies:
• When people hear someone speaking next to them while reading or writing, their productivity can drop as much as 66%
• Noise accounts for 71% of all workplace distractions
• Other people’s voices are the most cited source of distraction in the office
• 70% of employees say their efficiency would increase if their workplace wasn’t as noisy

In order to ensure well-being and productivity at work, acoustics should be a primary consideration in the office design. However, the acoustics of the space alone are not enough. Colors, textures, smell, light, these stimuli will cause a more significant and complete impact when they are combined with sound and vice versa.
Source & photographic material: De Vorm