It is common knowledge that psychologically distracting and even physiologically damaging noise is ubiquitous in our world, perhaps no more so than in a stressful office environment.
Disturbingly though, most people are unaware of the concomitant, severe long-range effects of office noise and the potential severity of their impact.
Further, these effects not only impact the well-being of an office worker, both in the short- and long-term, but can utterly drain a company's productivity due to degraded employee focus, as well as produce or exacerbate ailments which spur the consumption of sick days.
Stress and Office Noise: What Is It About a Typical Office Environment Which Promotes Sound-based Sickness?
Before we explore some of the specific health problems office noise can create, it is important to understand the source of the problem. Between the clatter of keyboard typing, the consistent chorus of ringing desk phones, and ongoing office chatter, there are plenty of factors which contribute to noise in an office space. But what makes this situation even worse is the design of an open office.
By “open” we mean a traditional office setting in which a series of workers along with their desks, computers, and other work equipment are housed inside of a wide room without any partitions to separate individual workers.
Moving forward, this design unintentionally amplifies the various ambient sounds in the room via echoes. This happens largely because of all of the myriad flat, dense surfaces which naturally reflect sound, for example, glass windows, concrete flooring, and office desks.
Keep in mind, the detrimental effects of excess background sound can be experienced at both limited and high decibel levels. Even at relatively low, seemingly manageable levels, research demonstrates that office noise can be incredibly detrimental to one's health.
What Specific Problems Can Workplace Commotion Create?
The primary and perhaps most common problem which can arise in the typical noisy office environment which can adversely affect one's health is stress.
Scientific research has demonstrated that, in addition to draining worker productivity, workplace stress from office noise can produce a series of calamitous physiological health problems, most notable among them being hypertension. In addition to hypertension, constantly being exposed to such a high volume of background sound is likely to prompt the release of cortisol.
Though a naturally occurring hormone, when excess amounts of cortisol are released, the deleterious effects on the body are numerous. Said effects include impaired memory retention, reduction in one's ability to learn, and even lead to the development of depression.
Other effects cortisol can have on one's body include persistent anxiety, problems maintaining a good sleep schedule, and digestive issues.
In particularly high levels, cortisol can even lead to weight gain!
Looking at the short-term effects, stress and office noise can physically exhaust a worker. The reason being, in the immediate moment, stress caused by noise raises a worker's blood pressure which, over the course of an average workday, saps that individual's energy and drive.
This means that an office employee must work harder because they are focused both on the tasks they've been assigned, plus on blocking out the distracting sounds around them.
To sum up, having a lot of cortisol in one's system is something which will lower both one's enjoyment of professional life and overall life expectancy, too.
Other stress hormones which may be released by office noise include epinephrine, a compound which in high concentrations reduces worker productivity and also mars puzzle-solving abilities.
Furthermore, workplace noise can result in the manifestation of other ailments, too. For instance, background noise can lead to the development of tinnitus. For those unaware, tinnitus can best be described as that peculiar and obnoxiously persistent clicking, roaring, hissing or ringing one seems to hear which has no external cause. What's worse, this condition may even be a sign of hearing loss.
Other afflictions associated with office noise can even include the onset of horrifically detrimental cardiovascular conditions such as arteriosclerosis. Otherwise known as hardening of the arteries colloquially, this disease can produce numbness of certain parts of the body, produce spontaneous confusion, and even impair the ability to learn.
While everything we've mentioned is manageable and can be treated and reversed, office noise can even cause permanent, physiological damage. Specifically, workplace ambient sound can actually lead an individual to develop partial hearing loss.
Is There A Solution to Stress from Office Noise?
Unfortunately, traditional attempts to tackle the problem of office noise have been at best marginally, if not completely ineffective. Specifically, most types of office partitions do not sufficiently dampen noise to reduce the negative effects of being constantly buffered with sound. Those panels that do help only absorb some of an office's ambient sound, meaning the deleterious effect of background noise is only somewhat mitigated.
What's worse, most office environments don't take office noise seriously at all and, consequently, have not made any form of investment to even minimally reduce worker's exposure to damaging noise.
Fortunately, there is a holistic answer to potentially illness-inducing cacophony: a closed office system. More specifically, a system in which a worker has access to everything they would normally need, but which guards them against the auditory chaos so commonly found in an office setting – that system is the office pod concept by Zenbooth.
These high-quality office pods are designed to feature all of the needed amenities to perform office work while keeping the occupant safe from the bevy of office clamor.
What Makes Zenbooth's Meeting Pods Different?
To begin with, portable office booths sport sturdy, sound insulating walls which protect the occupant from as much as 40 decibels of sound. The entrance to a unit comes in the form of a double pane, insulated glass door so that the user doesn't feel completely isolated from the rest of the office or develop claustrophobia. Yet, the high-quality double pane design still has the same noise shielding qualities as the unit's walls.
In addition to sound-shielding walling, Zenbooth's units come with a custom wooden standing-style desk as well as an anti-fatigue floor mat.
A standard office pod comes with a pair of electrical outlets, which connect to an external power source via a single charging cord. That way your office walkway isn't covered in a mess of unmanageable wires. Moving on, in addition to standard electrical outlets, each unit also comes with a collection of quick charging USB outlets, too.
All office booths feature a modular wall and floor design. Further, each office booth, while robust and guaranteed to last, are easy to move. Zenbooth's office pods are guaranteed to hold up over time, and each unit comes with a full coverage, one-year warranty.
In order to maintain an optimal atmospheric environment, office booths feature a set of quiet ventilation fans to cycle fresh air in and hold a steady temperature.
Furthermore, office pods come in two main design types: single-person Comfort and two-person Executive booths. The first is designed to cater to a single user while providing the whole range of office booth features, while the executive can hold as many as two people at a time.
No matter what your office needs are, Zenbooth's office pods are the ideal solution to protect yourself and employees from the deeply damaging effect of office place noise.