For years we’ve been told that the open-plan office format is the best way to go. It encourages collaboration and discussion, makes management more accessible, and helps to form productive teams.
But studies now show there’s a huge downside to an open-plan office. The constant noise and lack of privacy is something that many workers can’t get away from. Your office needs a quiet space – and here’s a full breakdown of why it’s a huge concern that you need to address as soon as possible.
Noise causes constant stress
Scientific research has discovered that constant noise plays a large part in raising stress levels. Anyone who has ever stayed near a construction site for any period of time can attest that loud and continuous noise outside of your control is maddening.
When sitting in an office, the effect of noise might not initially be as obvious. In fact, many people don’t really think about it at all. But it’s there, and it does have a psychological effect.
There are lots of noises in the average office: people talking on the phone or to each other, phones ringing, printers and fax machines working, beeping and pinging sounds from computers, coughs, sneezes, and so on. Some offices may even have music playing.
These noises can cause a buildup of stress over time. The human brain was wired for survival, so we’re trained to pay attention to any noises around us. Our subconscious remains alert, which can cause us to feel exhausted much more frequently than normal.
All of this stress can have serious consequences for office workers. Stress can affect both mental and physical health, leading to viruses, breakdowns, anxiety, and physical aches and pains. This is very bad news both for them and their managers as workers are likely to take sick days and be less productive.
In fact, statistics suggest that open-plan office workers are 50% more likely to take sick days than those who work in private offices.
The possibility of ducking into a quiet room when needed is invaluable for those who work in a noisy environment. It gives them a chance to reset, relax, and let the stress go for a moment.
Business phone calls require attention
When talking on the phone, it’s not always easy to hear people on the other line. That difficulty is increased greatly when there is a lot of background noise from your office.
Worse still, staff members may struggle to keep the conversation on track and meet the requirements of clients because they fail to understand what’s being said. This is an embarrassing situation for any business.
Should your employees need to take part in a video conference or conference call, there is a need to have voices on speaker in order for everyone to hear what is going on and take part properly.
In business, there are lots of times when conversations need to be kept quiet if possible. Projects may require non-disclosure agreements, which make it very difficult to speak openly on the phone with others listening in. Again, this is very cumbersome in a noisy environment. In fact, many would say it is impossible to maintain a professional call in that situation.
An office quiet space / room creates a place for staff members to talk on the phone in peace. There will be no interruptions, no distractions, and nothing that might make your clients think you’re a difficult company to communicate with. It’s a good solution, and having an office quiet space is a very good way to go about it.
Office quiet spaces because privacy is important
Another psychological aspect of an open office plan that you may not think about is the lack of privacy. No matter what your staff members are doing in the office, everyone will know about it. That means no private phone calls, no private documents or projects, and no personal sense of privacy either.
A personal sense of privacy is important for reducing stress levels. It doesn’t have to be available all the time. Sometimes, your employees may just feel the need for a moment or two by themselves. Giving them the opportunity to get this in a soundproof office booth can have a positive impact when it comes to their stress levels and their productivity.
Concentration can suffer without quiet
When working on important projects, especially with legal repercussions, it’s integral that everything is done correctly. This requires great focus and concentration, which is difficult to achieve in a noisy environment.
Office workers often try to solve this by wearing noise cancelling headphones, which bring along their own problems. Not hearing a fire alarm going off may be one of them.
A much better solution would be an office phone booth pod where employees can go if they have something particularly difficult to work on.
The set-up is critical
These are all great reasons as to why you need an office quiet space, but how do you go about creating one? This question might be harder to answer than you think, because getting it right takes time and money. If you are working on it from scratch, you will have a big project on your hands.
Firstly, a quiet room is fine – but a soundproof booth is much better and more effective. If you can still hear noises from outside, a lot of the benefits of your office quiet space will disappear.
A Zenbooth also brings other advantages: it’s portable, quick to install and has a built in ventilation system.
A workspace isn’t very useful without the ability to plug in. Your office phone booth should have outlets, both for appliances, telephones & internet access. Don’t forget that many devices these days require a USB charging port. Our quiet booths have all of these included.
While getting a quiet space should definitely be a top priority, it’s important to not rush things or try to do it yourself. Getting a professional office telephone booth delivered to your business is the best way to go.
To get in touch with us and learn more about our noise cancelling booths, feel free to use the form on our contact page. You can also call us at 415.323.5358.
Visit a gallery of our soundproof booths today and see which ones would fit great in your office!