Step 4: Noise

Proximity must be balanced by the need to keep noise from one person’s position from affecting an adjacent employee. Acoustic screens for each employee are necessary. Height and width of acoustic screens will vary, depending on your application and the need for visual privacy. It is also important to consider noise sources in the environment. In an office environment, noise emanating from photocopiers, printers, telephones, etc., certainly won’t cause loss of hearing, but it can be annoying and, for some, stressful. 

In an office, the main effects of surrounding noises are: 

  • Interference with verbal communications
  • Reduction in concentration
  • Annoyance 

The office surrounding should if, possible, have mounted baffles which can reduce sound reflected off the ceiling and other organizational noise. Control the movement of non-essential personnel near the employees. As more people walk through the office, more noise develops.