How To Reduce Distractions In An Open-Plan Office

Combatting Open Plan Office Distractions

Open-plan offices are quickly becoming a very popular choice in today’s typical office setting. They allow for variation from the static and isolated office environments that were more popular in the past, where each worker was separated from one another.

Without the separation and privacy that partitions and cubicles once gave, the modern office has become a far more collaborative environment, fostering more teamwork and knowledge sharing. While this is generally a good thing, the adverse effect is that there is often far more distractions to compete with.

O'Neill & Brown Plumbing Office Design Project

Effects of Too Much Noise in the Office

If you have ever been a noisy environment while trying to concentrate on an important task, you will understand how much this can affect your focus and productivity. Noise effects our mood, productivity and ability to multitask. When we are interrupted by loud, nearby conversations it is especially hard to concentrate. Humans are designed to recognise human speech and is harder to ignore when compared to other forms of white noise.

The most obvious effects of excess noise and distraction in the office are decreased productivity and inability to focus. So how can you reduce the wrong kind of office noise?

Acoustic Office Products

In open-plan workplace design, noise-friendly materials and finishes play a huge role.

Carpet reduces the noise of walking and moving around the space, while noise-absorbing ceiling panels can work wonders in reducing the subtle effects of echoing noise.

White noise machines can provide a more digestible form of office noise, that can be extremely useful in providing an environment of focus. This could come in the form of rainfall or other natural sounds.

Cleverly designed partitions and privacy screens can be instrumental in blocking conversation and noise from leaving each workstation. Burgtec’s expertly designed privacy screens make your desk just enough of a private space that you can enjoy the collaborative environment while also limiting noise.

Bundaberg Regional Council Office Design Project

Designing a Quieter Office

Nominating a ‘quiet area’ is a great way to provide a haven of sorts for those that prefer quiet environments. This could be a more communal area that people can come to when they need some peace and quiet, or it could be a more formal room that is away from the more open office plan.

Office orientation and organisation can play a huge factor in level of noise. Designing an office where desks are in smaller clusters helps to separate the primary noisemakers: the employees. This means noise is less likely to grow organically from larger groups of people being situated close to each other.

Reducing Distraction

Open plan office noise reduction doesn’t have to be a struggle. With some very carefully considered changes or additions to your open-plan office, you can reduce office noise to a level where workers are able to complete their work easily and effectively.

If you are looking for a refresh of your office environment, Burgtec offers an extensive range of products that can facilitate a quieter open-plan office. We also offer office fit-out services, where we can advise you on how to design your open plan office with an emphasis on productivity. If you are interested in learning more, contact us here.