Improve efficiency and performance with targeted solutions
In today’s fast-paced world, creating a peaceful work environment is a crucial part of improving employee productivity and wellbeing. Excessive noise poses a significant obstacle to achieving this goal, as it disrupts concentration and causes stress in the workplace. However, by implementing effective commercial noise control strategies, employers can foster a focused atmosphere that enhances employee performance and satisfaction.
In this blog post, the expert Avenue team will look at various techniques and solutions that can create a more tranquil work environment through commercial noise control.
8 steps you can take to control noise in the workplace
To assess your workplace and discover the right way to control excess noise, take the time to:
1) Identify noise sources
Look for the specific noise sources in your workplace, whether that’s air conditioning units, office equipment, conversations, foot traffic, or external noise pollution. Pinpointing these sources will help you develop targeted solutions.
2) Consider your workspace’s design
During the initial design or renovation phases, consider incorporating noise-reducing features like sound-absorbing materials for ceilings and floors. Acoustic panels, carpeting, or cork are excellent options for reducing noise transmission.
3) Investigate soundproofing solutions
Soundproofing techniques are highly effective for areas where the noise originates externally or from adjacent spaces. Install sound barriers such as acoustic partitions or double-glazed windows to minimise sound transmission and create a more peaceful workspace. You can also seal gaps and cracks around windows, doors, and vents to prevent noise leakage.
4) Apply acoustic treatment
To reduce noise levels, implement targeted acoustic treatments within individual work areas or common spaces. Sound-absorbing panels can help mitigate echo and reverberation, creating a more peaceful environment.
5) Think about white noise and background music
Consistent background noise can help mask disruptive sounds and create a more serene work environment. Consider using white noise machines or sound masking systems that emit neutral, soothing sounds to reduce the impact of sudden noises. You can also offer low-volume background music options to improve focus and productivity, while minimising distractions.
6) Establish quiet zones
Designate specific areas as quiet zones to benefit employees who require absolute silence for certain tasks. Quiet zones can be dedicated rooms or secluded areas where noise levels are strictly controlled.
7) Promote employee education and awareness
Educate employees about the importance of a calm work environment and the impact of noise on productivity and wellbeing. Encourage individuals to be mindful of their noise contributions and promote respectful communication. Implementing noise etiquette guidelines can help cultivate a considerate workplace culture.
8) Perform regular maintenance and evaluation
Regularly assess the performance of soundproofing elements, acoustic treatments, and equipment to ensure they continue to meet desired noise reduction standards. Address any emerging issues promptly, and make adjustments as necessary.
Identifying sources of external noise pollution in an office workplace
Several common sources of external noise pollution can contribute to a noisy working environment. Here are some examples:
1) Traffic noise
Offices near busy roads or intersections may experience significant noise pollution from vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and honking horns.
2) Construction noise
Ongoing construction near an office building can generate disruptive noise, such as the sound of heavy machinery, drilling, hammering, or other construction activities.
3) Public transportation
Offices near train stations, bus stops, or airports may be exposed to noise pollution caused by trains, buses, aeroplanes, and their associated activities, including engine noise, announcements, or loudspeaker systems.
4) Outdoor events
If your office is close to venues where outdoor events or concerts are held, the noise generated by music, crowds, public address systems, and other event-related activities can infiltrate the workplace.
5) Street vendors and cafes
Noise from street vendors, food trucks, or nearby cafes with outdoor seating can permeate the office environment, especially if the workspace is very close to these establishments.
6) Landscaping and maintenance
Noise pollution can result from landscaping activities, lawnmowers, leaf blowers, or maintenance work on the building exterior, such as pressure washing or repairs.
7) Emergency services
Offices near hospitals, police or fire stations, or other facilities may be subject to sirens, alarms, or loudspeaker announcements, which can create disruptive noise.
8) Neighbouring businesses
Noise can also come from neighbouring businesses, especially if they involve manufacturing processes, heavy machinery, or high-volume activities such as gyms that generate noise which can travel through shared walls or open windows.
9) HVAC systems
Poorly designed or maintained heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems can produce excessive noise within the office, including noises from fans, compressors, or ductwork.
10) Equipment and appliances
Noise can originate from office equipment such as printers, photocopiers, scanners, shredders, or kitchen appliances like refrigerators, coffee machines, or microwaves.
Identifying and addressing these sources of external noise pollution can help employers and employees mitigate the negative impacts of noise on concentration, productivity, and wellbeing in the office workplace.
How to implement noise etiquette guidelines in the workplace
Putting in place noise etiquette guidelines in the workplace can contribute to a more productive and harmonious environment.
Here are some steps employers can take to implement such guidelines effectively:
- Develop clear guidelines: Create a comprehensive set of noise etiquette guidelines that outline acceptable and unacceptable noise levels, and give specific examples of noise sources. Ensure that the guidelines align with the nature of your workplace, and consider any unique considerations.
- Communicate the guidelines: Take the time to communicate your noise etiquette guidelines to all employees through email, memos, or team meetings. Use multiple communication channels to ensure everyone receives the information and understands the expectations.
- Train employees: Conduct training sessions or workshops to educate employees about the importance of noise etiquette and the specific guidelines in place. Explain the potential impact of excessive noise on productivity, concentration, and overall wellbeing.
- Display visual reminders: Place posters or signs in common areas and workspaces to visually reinforce noise etiquette guidelines. These reminders will act as constant cues for employees to be mindful of their noise levels.
- Provide designated quiet zones: Designate specific areas in the workplace where employees can work quietly or engage in focused tasks without disruptions. Create separate spaces, such as quiet rooms or designated quiet hours, where noise should be minimised to support concentration.
- Encourage open communication: Foster a culture of open communication where employees feel comfortable addressing noise-related concerns. Encourage them to discuss any issues directly with their colleagues or escalate them to a supervisor or HR representative if necessary.
- Lead by example: Regarding noise etiquette, managers and leaders should lead by example. Consistently demonstrating respectful noise behaviour sets a positive tone for the rest of the workforce to follow.
- Provide noise reduction tools: Consider providing noise reduction tools – such as noise-cancelling headphones or soundproofing materials – to employees who require them. This helps individuals manage noise distractions more effectively.
- Regularly assess and adjust: Regularly assess the effectiveness of your noise etiquette guidelines, and gather employee feedback. Make adjustments to ensure the guidelines remain relevant and achievable.
- Reinforce positive behaviour: Recognise and appreciate employees who consistently adhere to the noise etiquette guidelines. This can be done through verbal recognition, rewards, or other forms of acknowledgment to encourage a culture of compliance.
Talk to Avenue about commercial noise control solutions
Creating a calming work environment through commercial noise control fosters employee productivity, focus, and wellbeing. By prioritising a serene work environment and implementing the strategies outlined above, you will empower your employees to perform at their best and enhance their overall job satisfaction.
Remember to regularly evaluate and adjust your noise control measures to ensure they continue to meet desired standards. You can create a positive and thriving workplace culture with a peaceful work environment.
For more information on any noise control products, get in touch with the Avenue team on
1300 827 177.