7 Effective Measures For Reduced Office Noise

Background noise in the office triggers stress, lowers the performance and motivation

effective measures for reduced office noise
Background noise in the office triggers stress, lowers the performance and motivation of employees and can thereby considerably affect the quality and quantity of work realised.

In particular where devices such as printers, copiers or phones are in regular use there is an increased risk of detrimental noise levels. In addition, direct conversations contribute to noise, especially in open-plan offices, while other contributing factors include ventilation and air conditioning systems or noise coming in from outside.

To reduce the background noise level in the office, it is best to combine different measures. Our tips for noise reduction in the office bring more a more peaceful environment without the need for intricate construction measures.


If you place existing shelves, bookcases or filing cabinets between individual workstations they act as room dividers and thereby swallow many sounds. Concentrated work is thus promoted in two ways: on the one hand by the optical separation of the workstations, and on the other hand by the sound-damping function of the room dividers.
effective measures for reduced office noise room divider


Soundproofing room materials are readily available when setting up an office: carpets or soft plastic floors, for example, are sound-absorbing, which gives them an advantage over tiles and hard boards. Wooden furniture, on the other hand, is preferable to glass, ceramics and steel, as it absorbs sound instead of reflecting it. In addition, furniture can be equipped with acoustically enhanced elements, for example, perforated trays or felt boards, which can also effectively reduce background noise.
effective measures for reduced office noise sound absorber


Especially in the ranges of medium and high frequencies, acoustic enhancers are useful to reduce voice clutter and improve speech intelligibility. They are particularly suitable for noise reduction in schools, lecture and conference rooms, and cafeterias. And needn't be complicated: even simple posters or art prints hung on the walls can make a difference as they prevent the reverberation on bare walls and thus absorb sound - especially when hung in the direction of speech.
effective measures for reduced office noise acoustic enhancers


For effective noise protection it is important to ensure that there is sufficient space between individual workstations. The division of open-plan offices into separate areas, such as communication rooms for meetings and to telephone and/or the provision of rooms specifically for particularly concentrated work, also has a positive effect on the room acoustics. It also makes sense to set up desks offset to one another, so that the conversation does not overlap and the concentration of individual employees is not negatively affected by those nearby. Employees who by necessity communicate regularly with each other should be placed as close together as possible. Desks should also be positioned away from frequently used walkways to the kitchen, conference room, or copier to minimise unnecessary noise disturbance among colleagues.
effective measures for reduced office noise spatial seperation


Acoustic and noise protection curtains can also be employed to reduce noise in the workplace, and provide a flexible and versatile alternative to structural changes. Acoustic curtains reduce speech noise in open-plan offices by absorbing sound, whereby felt curtains are especially well suited. Such acoustic curtains can be hung in front of doors and windows, but also in front of walls or employed freely in the room as temporary room dividers. They are especially useful when the doors and windows in a building are not of the most contemporary standards nor soundproofed.
effective measures for reduced office noise acoustic curtains


Special acoustic panels can also help to reduce noise in the office. Non-woven or felt panels have a sound-absorbing and a sound-protection effect. Whether employed as a room divider or wall element they visually and functionally enhance every office, particularly when combined in different colors and variants. For example, the USM Privacy Panels can be used individually and help absorb noise in a modular fashion – allowing them to adapt to the changing requirements of your office space as your company grows.
effective measures for reduced office noise USM Privacy Panels


It is not advisable to position a printer or copier in the immediate vicinity of desks; rather, they should be isolated via room dividers or stand in separate rooms. Air conditioning, heating and ventilation systems should be maintained regularly to minimise the noise they generate. In addition, setting all mobile phones in the office to vibration or silent avoids unnecessarily disturbing colleagues. The standby settings of computers should also be checked. It makes sense to shut down computers when not in use: this not only saves power but reduces background noise.
effective measures for reduced office noise