The Surprising Health Effects of Workplace Noise You Must Read

While most noises are pleasant and at comfortable levels, there are times when sound can be extremely loud and even cause damage to your well-being.

The workplace can be a constant source of high volume distraction, and we usually don't have a choice other than to subject ourselves to it. Despite our best attempts to block out noisy coworkers or office sounds, we're still drowning in too much noise.

The Damaging Workplace Health Effects That Excess Noise Can Cause

One common problem from continuous exposure to loud noise is tinnitus. Tinnitus can be hard to describe, as symptoms vary from person to person. It's generally a sound that may seem to be in one ear or the other, but often feels like it is going straight through both of them.

Those who have it describe it as a whistling sound or being similar to the roar of ocean waves. These sounds might be constant or they could come and go.  Tinnitus can be permanent or temporary, but either way, it's extremely difficult to focus or live with when it occurs. 



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It's easy to see how loud noises can cause damage that affects the ears, but it can also cause damage in other ways. When office noise becomes too distracting, it makes it hard to concentrate on what you're doing and can hurt your mental health.

It can significantly raise blood pressure and cause excess stress. By not being able to hear and follow instructions properly, it can be the source of many workplace mistakes, whether on your computer or interacting with others. The result is some workers feeling open plan office anxiety - the fear or nervousness that comes from having to constantly work in loud open spaces.

Exposure to loud noise can cause imbalances that affect the cardiovascular system, triggering the onset of various illnesses, including hypertension and arteriosclerosis. Prolonged exposure to loud work place noises will obviously not makes the situation any better.

Noise also effects our health in other ways. Fatigue in the workplace can be dangerous. Unfortunately, it's not always brought on by lack of sleep. There are many factors that can bring on chronic fatigue at the workplace, and high noise levels is one of them.

Working while battling fatigue can have a huge impact on productivity, as well as a person's judgment. 

Effects Of Noise-Induced Illnesses and Fatigue

Illness and fatigue brought on by workplace noise can have long-term effects. These end up being pricey when you calculate overall sick days and medical costs. Chronic fatigue and illness lead to low productivity.

Work accidents also happen more frequently when you are distracted or not thinking clearly. 

Product quality is something a company needs to maintain in order to stay competitive. When too many careless mistakes occur, you might get feedback from a lot of unsatisfied customers - and not necessarily positive feedback. For these reasons alone, workplace noise level is not something that should be ignored.

What Noise Level Will Cause the Most Health Effects?

Believe it or not, 85 decibels is not as loud as you might think. Listening to your MP3 player through your earbuds at maximum volume is at least 105 decibels of sound. A police siren passing you by has 120.

The steady hum of machinery can easily equate to 85 decibels of sound or more. The damage can take place so slowly that you might not even notice it. 

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that excessive noise at the workplace should be addressed, as it is an occupational concern. It's important to have safety measures in place.

However,  earplugs do not always work, as you need to be able to hear others. You also have to be alert to noises going on around you.

The Health Effects of Even Low-Level Noise

Unless your office is located in an industrial area, there is little chance that you'll suffer hearing damage as a result. However, everyday office noises can take their toll. The ringing telephone or hearing another worker's phone conversation can be a huge distraction.

Your co-worker's choice of radio station may not be music you care for.  All of these factors can affect your concentration and raise stress levels when you're trying to focus on your own work. 

While you may not want to complain about these seemingly small annoyances, the fact is, these little things can add up to become huge problems. Working in an office requires a lot of thinking and brain work.

If you can't concentrate, you can't produce quality work. If you don't produce quality work, your boss won't be too happy. This can cause stress, which can put a strain on your heart and lead to other health problems. It's a chain reaction of health effects all brought on by too much noise.

Disadvantages Of Noisy Open Offices

Open offices were once considered a great way to increase productivity. Workers could collaborate and interact with each other. By providing workers with the opportunity to have more access to their co-workers, it was believed the office would feel like one big happy family.

While this concept still works to some extent, there are many open office downsides that are proving to have negative consequences for worker production and employee health.

Besides the distracting noise factors, workers face high exposure to the flu and other contagious diseases. There is also no private space to retreat to when you just need a moment for yourself or time to think.

The Solution to Health Effects Brought on By Office Noise

It's little wonder that open office areas are slowly becoming a thing of the past. While it is important for workers to get to know each other and interact, their best work is produced when they have total focus.

The problem is that most office areas are designed to be one big open space. And, renovating the entire into individual, separate offices can be costly.

Zenbooth's office quiet rooms are a practical and cost-effective solution to this dilemma. By installing one or more fully self-contained privacy pods, you can provide your workers with a comfortable place to retreat to when they need to work without interruption.

This option not only saves money on expensive office renovations, it also increases employee productivity. 

In a Zenbooth, workers can close the door and escape the outside world. Without distractions, they can dedicate more time to getting the job done. Their improved performance will lead to an increase in revenue. 

What Is a Zenbooth?

A Zenbooth is a fully contained, enclosed unit that is installed in a matter of hours. They are available in 2-6 person units. The booths are Eco-friendly, as they are constructed from recycled and renewable materials. Using slider pads, they're easy to move in case your office layout changes to something more modern.

The straightforward assembly and flexibility of a Zenbooth is another reason that they are preferred over costly office renovations.

Other key features of the Zenbooth include:

  • High-Power exhaust fans
  • Shatterproof safety glass
  • Electrical and USB power outlets
  • Self-closing door hinges
  • Anti-fatigue mat
  • Motion sensors for exhaust fans
  • 15-foot long power cord

Zenbooths ship from our factory, which is located in Berkley, CA. Shipping time may vary, depending on the size of the product you order. 

With the increase in productivity, these phone booths quickly pay for themselves. Less stress at the workplace creates a healthier and happy staff as well. Contact us today to discuss which Zenbooth options work best for you.

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