When many business owners think about how they can build a better workplace to entice new workers and keep the current people happy, they think about game rooms, pricey snacks, and other fun amenities. The kicker is that these are not really what workers really want. Recently, Oxford Economics joined up with CityLab to survey what changes workers would make to their work environment. Seventy-four present of respondents to the survey reported that workers just wanted more quiet so they could do their work without so many interruptions. Here are some things you can do, from considering a great phone booth office design to making cubicles more sound absorbent, to making your workplace work better for everyone.
- Look into adding phone booths. There is a reason there are so many phone booth office designs out there today. These are not phone booth office designs of yesteryear. While a lot of interpersonal interactions take place via email, Slack, or other ways, phone calls are still important to most office jobs today. The problem is that many offices and workplaces have an open design and fewer individual offices. That means that everyone gets to hear everyone else’s conversations. To avoid that pitfall, many businesses are now looking for newer phone booth office designs to give their workers a chance to make their calls in a more private space. Soundproof phone booths can make a workspace much better for everyone.
- Make room for concentration friendly spots. It can be hard to concentrate in very noisy areas. If you are building a new space or are redoing the space you already have, think about putting in workstations that give your workers a little more privacy. With more modern cubicle space, your workers can keep their work to themselves when they need to and have the space to collaborate with other employees when that is needed.
- Get the right furniture. Some companies opt for the least expensive office furniture around. That is a mistake. There are a lot of options to keep the noise in your office to a minimum. When you are working with companies on how to soundproof an office room you will see how much you can do with the right furniture. Blinds can be installed that will keep sound isolated to one area or another. That alone can make a big difference. The right furniture can give your workers both insulation from noise but a bit more visual privacy as well.
- Bring in freestanding partitions. You can bring in partitions that are made especially to block the movement of sound. Some of the best kinds use a honeycomb-like design. These are most often modular designs that snap together. These can be very effective at keeping the noise level in your workspace. Because these are freestanding and can be rolled in, not installed, they provide a cost-effective way to make your workers happier and more productive.
- Consider putting in sculptured ceilings and walls. If you are doing a complete renovation of a space or moving to a new space that you can make all of your own, consider putting new modular wall units and ceilings. These can be customized to your space and style or you can get more standardized options. You are only limited by your aesthetic and imagination.
- Give your people a place to get some rest. American workers are known for their work ethic. The problem is that when people work overtime and do not get the rest they need, they can be prone to mistakes. Experts say that “power naps” that last about 20 minutes can do wonders for your workers. By installing sleep pods in your workspace, you can help your workers be more productive.
- Give your workers headphones. If, after reviewing your options, you find that even the best phone booth office designs do not work and you cannot build a phone booth or put in new walls and ceilings, you can give your workers sound canceling headphones that will let your workers tune out the noise and distractions and tune into the work they need to do. Even without an office phone booth, this can make a difference.
The moral of the story is that quieter office spaces make happier workers.