How to Manage Acoustics in a Cubicle

Open Office 1

The majority of offices have adopted the concept of cubicles, which are partially encircled workspaces that are separated from neighboring ones by partitions. Initially, their purpose was to isolate employees from sights and noises of an open workspace. Later, they started promoting interactions among employees. Even though the idea behind this architectural structure sounds great, there are some drawbacks related to it.

These environments are associated with being stressed out, distracted, and deprived of privacy. Above all these, the biggest complaints of an open-space: workers relate to hearing, and to being heard, which also leads to wasting more time. Good office acoustics is a key to better work performance and well-being of the employees in the workplace. According to U.S. General Services Administration “Acoustical comfort is achieved when the workplace provides appropriate acoustical support for interaction, confidentiality, and concentrative work.”

How to achieve desired comfort in a cubicle? There are three major types of changes that your office can implement to improve the environment:

  1. Behavior

Changing the patterns of behavior might be the first step towards better office experience. Identifying the right balance of concentration and interaction among the workers is crucial as well as developing working protocols. You should have special guidelines for all employees: zones to print, voice levels, and spaces for communications or breaks. Introducing technology-based devices for employee interaction can also help to reduce noise levels within the office.

  1. Design

Zoning (layout strategy), planning, and furniture are key elements to consider when thinking about solutions for office acoustics. You need to locate different office “functions” separate from each other. For example, conference room should be far from a copier room. Plan supporting facilities such as coffee bars with consideration to the location of the workstations. Moreover, select furniture that satisfies acoustical standards and helps muffling the noises.

  1. Acoustic Treatment

Two major ideas for improvement are sound absorbing materials on the ceilings, walls, and floors, as well as sound masking systems. Some special methods for noise absorption would be: acoustic ceiling tiles, carpeting, furniture finishes, curtains, and acoustical plasters. The more absorptive material you add to the open space, the quieter the environment will become.

Some of the sound masking solutions include ceiling based applications, desktop systems, or even apps for your smartphone or laptop.

Another tip is to always look at the STC (Sound Transmission Class) of the products, as there are some minimum requirements for office spaces. The minimum level of STC required in normal speech privacy is 40.

If the first step is easiest to implement, then for the acoustic design and treatment solutions you will require some specialist knowledge. Commercial Acoustics is willing to help you solve the problem of open space office environment. Check our sound absorbing products here. We would be also glad to offer you personalized consultation if needed.

Fixing Acoustics In Your Business

Office Soundproofing

Quality acoustics within your business is crucial for a highly productive, stress-free and engaging workplace. We’ve solved just about every noise issue out there, and can help you to transform your space into the most constructive environment possible. Our acoustical products bring privacy and create a distraction-free workplace.

Many companies GREATLY over-complicate what you need to fix your acoustic issues. We are not in the business of world-class auditoriums and theaters, but if you’ve got unwanted noise in your office or workspace we’re here to solve your problem.

All of our products are in the Premium class of acoustical solutions, whether it’s baffles, diffusion or absorption panels, sound-blocking material, or white noise options. You can purchase cheap foams and panels that are marketed as a blanket solution, but our products are sold only through our distribution network, precluding the inclusion of low-quality products that will not solve your issues. When dealing with sound there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

We want you to avoid purchasing overly expensive or ineffective products by giving you a direct line to our team of talented Acoustical Consultants to answer your questions, or you can access our Product Selector Tool right here on our website. These two options allow you to quickly eliminate what products will not be effective for your space and to easily find what will work for you.

Fixing acoustics in your business is our specialty. 

Many companies focus on just delivering you a product and hoping you can figure out how to install it, while others schedule an appointment and bill you by the hour to tell you all the problems you already know about. At Commercial Acoustics, we’ve found that most customers need both insight and advice on how to solve their problems, as well as pre-made solutions that are ready to deploy.

We guarantee we will meet your soundproofing needs. Commercial Acoustics delivers superior service and results. Call us today!

How Much Absorption Do I Need In My Building?

One area of acoustics is sound absorption. It is defined as a process of taking in the energy and not reflecting it back. Sound absorption is widely used for soundproofing purposes. Thus, we would like to talk more about it.

Absorption is commonly used to reduce echo in the room, but not block sounds. Therefore, the materials that help absorb sounds are light and fluffy. The products are designed to make the surfaces softer. Interestingly, there is a coefficient that helps determining the absorbing power of a material. However, sound frequency plays a huge role in this.

There is a variety of absorbing materials, but the most generally used ones are the following two:

This is a solution to keep sound from escaping the room, and improve overall acoustics as it absorbs multi-frequency noise. Another advantage of the acoustic foam is that it is extremely easy to install: you simply create seamless absorptive walls.

Acoustic panels are perfect for any general absorption need. They are most effective at fixing acoustics in a single room. Keep in mind that they can be customizable, which is great for aesthetic reasons.

Check for absorbing solutions here.

If you realize that you require sound absorption, the next step should be to find out how much coverage you need to solve the issue. For classical noise reduction, we would recommend covering 10-25% of the wall. However, if you think you need some additional guidance, we will be glad to provide you a free acoustical consultation.