Escaping the Noise

Three ways to add noise barriers for when you need a little peace and quiet in the open office.

Read 2 minutes

With at least 70% of organisations embracing the open office plan and people spending more than half their day working with others, it’s safe to say the workplace is a bit noisy. Modern design trends that include exposed ceilings and minimalist aesthetics add to how noise can reverberate and carry throughout a large space. Sure, it’s nice to interact with our colleagues, but the truth is, all that extra noise can create a stressful and distracting environment.

Research shows we need a healthy balance between quiet focus and face-to-face time. In fact, 38% of employees wish they had more access to private spaces for acoustic and visual privacy. But, with shushing frowned upon and conferences rooms often unavailable, how can people easily find a little peace and quiet during the workday?

Let’s explore noise barriers that can work in any floorplan.

Orangebox showroom photography used in 360 brand story

1. Pods

Whether you need to make a phone call or have a small team meeting, pods can easily accommodate a variety of user needs. These easy to install, modular rooms act as freestanding workspaces with small footprints. Choose from a wide selection of sizes and styles from Orangebox ,Officebricks.

Flex Collection

2. Steelcase Flex Acoustic Boundary

Need a quiet space in seconds? No problem. The Steelcase Flex Acoustic Boundary is designed to move with you. (After all, it is on wheels.) Each one improves acoustic performance and provides an on-demand boundary for space division.

The Steelcase Flex Acoustic Boundary will be available in Europe, the Middle East and Africa spring 2020.

Divisio Acoustic Screen

3. divisio acoustic screen

The Divisio Acoustic Screen was developed to provide privacy and offer acoustic comfort to people working in the open plan. Free standing or part of a worksurface application, it offers a great sound absorption coefficient of 0.7. It’s available in a broad range of fabrics allowing you to personalise texture and color.

Want to dive more deeply into our acoustic research? Read Acoustics, Work and the Physical Environment where we share thought starters on settings that can enhance people’s wellbeing and performance at work.

Related Stories

Tents at Work?

Tents at Work?

Every now and again, two seemingly divergent ideas work together—like another unlikely combo: offices and tents. Tents at work? That’s

Finding Focus

Finding Focus

Turns out, finding the privacy you need at work doesn’t necessarily require closing a door. A new Steelcase study proves that when an open plan office is designed with pockets of visual privacy, it really is possible to focus and get things done. But don’t close your eyes to this additional finding: When it’s time to get creative, being in an open space with open views can help.

Revolutionizing a Private Office in Saudi Arabia

Revolutionizing a Private Office in Saudi Arabia

One leader’s private office is pioneering change with contemporary style.