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An Office Free of Unwanted Sounds

Patrycja Lango
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Inspiration - KNOW-HOW

Do you sometimes feel like you are in a beehive in your office? No wonder: people rushing about, loud conversations, phones ringing incessantly, plenty of people and even more matters to cope with. This is the reality of numerous Polish offices.

Acoustics in the workplace is a problem that most employees encounter. Intense and unwanted sounds, which we call noise, contribute significantly to a drop in effectiveness and concentration. In order to mitigate the adverse impact of noise in the office, we must accurately determine its source and choose measures to prevent and if possible eliminate it from our environment. One of the effective ways of ensuring a good acoustic environment in an office space is suitable furniture arrangements.

In order not to hear everything

In terms of interior acoustics in offices, it is important to maintain a low level of speech intelligibility, with an appropriate background noise level and general noise level. What does that really mean? We understand background noise in the office as sounds propagated in the room, both from the outside and from the devices located inside, without the employee's presence. The requirements as to the maximum background noise levels are laid down in standard PN-B-02151-2:2018-01. In offices where administrative work is performed and there are internal noise sources, this level should not exceed 45 dB. However, if background noise is much lower than the level of the sound generated by employees' conversations and there are no room dividers provided in the room to limit its propagation, speech will be easily intelligible, even in remote parts of the office. This situation impedes concentration because employees' sounds will not be masked by other sounds, thus preventing their colleagues from performing their duties effectively.

One possible solution is the use of an electronic sound masking system comprised of a network of loudspeaker devices. The devices generate noise at a suitable level so that it does not affect employees adversely and reduces the distance at which conversations heard from adjacent workstations cause distraction. The loudspeakers can be used to play music, the sound of the sea or forest, or other pleasant sounds. However, if no such experiments are welcome, it is still worth investing in suitable interior arrangements that will improve acoustic conditions and allow employees to work effectively.

An Office Free of Unwanted Sounds

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