For employees working in an office environment, a noisy workspace is more than just an annoyance. It can cause distractions, reduce productivity and even increase stress, not to mention the effects on employee morale and job satisfaction.

In fact, research shows that employees working in noisy offices are more likely to leave their job within six months. While 63 percent of employees say they lack a quiet space for focused work, negatively impacting their productivity, fulfilment and well-being - which ultimately costs the business.

So, if you or your employees are suffering from a noisy office, it might be time to consider one or more of the following solutions. Here are 8 ways to reduce the noise in your open plan office.

1. Rearrange your office layout

In some cases, noise pollution can be managed with just a simple office rearrangement. For example, by placing desks in a cluster per department, you can help compartmentalise noise around the entire office.

Even easier, rearranging noisy office equipment can reduce distractions too. Try placing the printer, photocopy machine, fax machine (if you still have one), and anything else in a separate space. This will help reduce the noise in your office, creating a more focused working environment.

When rearranging your office layout, consider the use of dividers and screens. They can be placed across desks, positioned on the floor, and even hung from the ceiling to help improve focus across the business and suit your office needs.

2. Introduce plants

Not only do plants look great, boost the well-being of employees, and improve air quality, but help to reduce noise within a space too. Large living walls can be introduced to combat your noise problem, and have now become extremely popular in commercial design.

For a mobile floor screen with sound absorbing effects, take a look at Zorla by Zilenzio. Featuring a top wooden box that can be filled with plants for a biodiverse decoration, the Zorla provides excellent noise reduction in open room constellations.

Zorla noise reduction planter

3. Install acoustic pods

Acoustic pods are self-contained spaces where employees can work, brainstorm, and fully concentrate in away from their desk. Think of it as a private working area, free from any distractions. They’re easy to set up, move around and can accommodate all types of budgets.

The biggest and most obvious benefit that come with acoustic pods is their ability to block out (and contain) sound. Some acoustic pods can block out up to 100% of noise, giving both the office pod user and wider workspace a quieter environment to concentrate in.

At Haiken, we supply a range of acoustic pod solutions perfect for reducing noise in open plan offices. Whether you require a single isolated focus zone, or a larger pod ideal for small meetings and discussions, we have an acoustic pod solution for you. Check out our acoustic pod products, or contact our friendly support team today for more information.

Haiken acoustic pod

4. Implement acoustic wall panels

Sound absorbing materials can be placed around a room to reduce inbound noise, making acoustic wall panels a great solution for combatting noisy open plan offices.

However, some may be quick to disregard this solution as typical wall panels aren’t the most visually pleasing. Alongside this, there are many wall panels in the market that claim to be sound absorbing, when the reality is, they aren't. So, it's always best to ask for proof of a sound test.

Fortunately, though, there are some modern acoustic wall panels available right now with excellent sound absorbing abilities. From our Zilenzio range at Haiken, the Dezibel Wall has been designed for the modern office of today. Available in several shapes and sizes, the Dezibel Wall can be combined endlessly to create the visual and acoustic effect you need. It can also be doubled-up as a message board, offering exceptional use of your office space. You can also view its sound test for peace of mind.

Acoustic wall panels for office

5. Position acoustic desk dividers/wall partitions

Similar to wall panels, acoustic dividers/partitions are tried and tested solutions for blocking out noise. Even low-level solutions that don’t completely close off lines of sight prove to be effective.

With the use of our Flex divider, employees can benefit from a quieter and more concentrated workstation, perfect for breaking up large rows of desks.

Acoustic desk divider

6. Explore your flooring options

Hard surfaces such as wood, ceramic and porcelain can be extremely unforgiving in noisy environments. If noise is a serious problem in your office, try carpet or a vinyl flooring solution - both are ideal for reducing noise in a workspace.

7. Noise-cancelling headphones

Think of this solution as more of a ‘cheat’ if you will. If re-designing your office isn’t a feasible option, or if you’re looking for something super quick and cheap, then noise-cancelling headphones could be ideal for you.

8. Discover further acoustic solutions

Aside from acoustic pods, wall panels and desk dividers, there’re a diverse range of acoustic products available to support your noise prevention needs. From acoustic ceiling panels, desks, and screens, through to a variety of furniture options and acoustic artwork, there really is a solution for all types of offices.

If you’d like to find out more about Haiken’s acoustic solutions and how they can benefit the productivity and well-being in your office space, contact our team today – we’re standing by and always happy to answer any questions.