Shrinking the Radius of Distraction
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- Design Tips
How sound travels within a space is one of the most important factors to consider when designing a workplace environment. Not only does sound design impact how employees will communicate with each other, but there is a more ominous cost to bad design.
At Beaux-Arts Group, we have worked with countless industries in various verticals – and in our time doing so, we’ve learned one single most issue that impacts the bottom line – a disengaged employee. In fact, a study by the University of California Irvine stated that a distracted employee took an average of 23 minutes to refocus and get back to their task.
While advocates for collaboration and open spaces might benefit from these arrangements, others are commenting that they “can’t concentrate,” and that it’s “too loud.” So where can you meet your employees’ demands for a supportive work environment that meets both collaborative and private demands?
The Hybrid Office
One trend that’s emerged and taking over the open office by storm is one that runs parallel to it; the school of thought that employees should have the choice between collaborative and private workspaces in an environment. Not a cubicle, not an open room, but some kind of design that brings the best of both into a given workplace.
If your organization is already equipped with cubicles, or is more of a hive design, that’s fine so long as you provide alternative spaces for your employees to work. For instance, open offices should be equipped with think tanks, conference rooms, or sound-isolated areas where the employee has the privacy and autonomy for deep focus. If in a more traditional office structure, be sure to offer touchdown spaces, lounges, or other more casual workstations that promote communication and collaboration.
Using products, features, and furnishings to create specific spaces can leverage a space’s architecture to reduce noise while providing a flexible place to work.
Horizontal planes of color and texture, achieved with floor coverings and ceiling applications, are a less intrusive way to ground and define areas around the office. In the same vein, felt floor bring color and softness, giving the spaces a casual, welcoming feel. Ceiling panels can add further definition to space while adding color, texture, and soundproofing from above.
Professional Design Solutions
If your work environment has received criticism for how it handles sound, the workplace design consultants at Beaux-Arts Group can recommend an effective design factoring the best products, your employees’ satisfaction, and your budget in mind. For more information, contact our team today.