Office Acoustics - Why is it important?

Noise is everywhere in offices. Telephones ringing, air conditioning humming, chatter from colleagues; they are just part of daily office life. The work environment matters, and noise levels at work have a drastic affect on office productivity, with the biggest distractions to work coming in the form of noise. Our brains find it incredibly difficult to zone out from colleague discussions, phone conversations and other sounds which poor office acoustics amplify.

Why are some offices so loud?

Noise bounces or reverberates off hard surfaces such as walls, floors and any other hard surface within the office for multiple seconds before finally dissipating. We call this the Reverberation Time or RT, and it is the most important factor when assessing a room with a noise problem.

Open-plan offices with little or no division amongst colleagues or different teams are prime culprits. With so many people trying to operate and perform their jobs to the best of their ability within one space, open-plan offices tend to just become noisier over time as people begin to speak even louder to compete with the surrounding noise.

How noise impacts us in the workplace

Extended exposure to high noise levels can not only cause damage to our hearing, but trigger stress responses in our bodies which can impact our health over the longer term. If you think the acoustic environment in your office could be harming productivity and employee wellbeing, consider taking steps to reduce the noise in the office. Many acoustic products also have good sustainability credits.

What should we do to fix the problem

The introduction of sound-absorbing acoustic panels, or appropriate acoustic barriers and screens will contribute to a much more comfortable, quiet and productive environment.

Depending on the existing layout of your office and what hard surfaces you are dealing with, a combination of wall panels and ceiling panels or baffles can help transform the space acoustically.

Office acoustics can often easily be solved using a combination of products fitted correctly throughout the space.

For offices with particular high ceilings, or exposed services above, ceiling panels will perform the bulk of the work in absorbing the reverberation within the space.


For offices with particular high ceilings, or exposed services above, ceiling panels will perform the bulk of the work in absorbing the reverberation within the space. For a slightly different aesthetic, ceiling baffles can also be used to create a unique continuous ceiling system that also provides excellent absorption. Wall Panels are the most common types of acoustic panels, as they can be easily installed on to almost any wall. There is also a huge range of products available to meet the design or functional requirements of the space.


Can I do the job myself?

While it is possible to install sound absorbing panels in your office or meeting room yourself, these projects often present many challenges. Existing fixtures, surfaces, furniture etc all need to be considered when calculation the time, effort and cost required to solve your issues.

If you think you can handle the job yourself, why not have a read of our article on the Top 6 Most Common Acoustic Treatments for Offices.

I need help

Our team have over a decade of experience dealing with all sorts of office spaces, big and small. If you're not sure, the best thing you can do is ask us for advice.

This will ensure you don't waste any time (or MONEY) on installing or finding a solution that won't actually work.

So many times we are called in to properly treat and office where someone has tried to do the job themselves, or received the wrong advice on what was required.


Want to see some of our work?

A selection of our completed projects are on our install website Resonics - you can find them here.

You can see more photos of Sonio customer installs and other cool projects on our Inspiration page.