This sucks because the world is getting louder. Much louder. And our workplaces are not immune.
But the volume isn’t being cranked up on its own. A lot of the blame for clamorous (making a loud and confused noise.) offices can be levelled at the trend of open plan offices.
These sleek, open spaces are usually comprised of reflective easy-to-clean surfaces (think glass and concrete), which reflect sound, create harsh echoes and compound environmental noises.
But while the debate between open plan offices and cubicles rages on – there is one thing we are certain of, and that is that open plan offices are almost always the noisiest of the two. Now accounting for over 70% of modern offices, it is safe to say the open-plan phenomenon is here to stay.
This is bad news for workers and employers alike. Excessive noise can mean more than just mild irritation – it can harm productivity, well-being, happiness, and most importantly, our physical health.
Here are 12 ways that workplace noise affects worker well-being and productivity:
1. Noise Stresses Us Out.
It’s not just deadlines and office politics that can cause stress at work.
Noise is a not-so-silent cause of stress in our bodies.
Loud sounds and prolonged exposure to certain noises trigger physiologic stress responses in our bodies – such as spikes in blood pressure and heart rate.
Even sounds that office workers are exposed to – phone rings, conversations – affect the rhythm and rate of our hearts.
Research has shown that even intermittent exposure to loud noises can lead to higher long-term stress hormone levels and hypertension.
2. Productivity Can Plummet When It’s Noisy.
Workers can be up to 66% […] READ MORE HERE: