With increased emphasis on businesses to be able to provide best-in-class video call facilities, a lot of companies and designers seem to make the same mistake. They invest in Zoom and get the technology right but forget about the needs for acoustic treatment in their office space.
In this article our co-founder Joe talks through the balancing act of setting up an office space for peak acoustic performance.
When it comes to acoustics there are two issues to address, leakage and attenuation.
Sound is like water; it will find its way out somehow, so you need to ensure you fill all the gaps possible. Mastic all partitions, fill any gaps and pay attention to the mechanical installations.
If you are willing to sacrifice having mechanical fresh air pumped into the space as well as heating and cooling, then this will be the most cost-effective solution. Drop down sills on the doors. Thicker partitions as well as using sound board would also help at a small price increase.
Attenuation is the key piece of the puzzle when it comes to the performance of the room. You want to limit the amount of hard surfaces within the room to stop the sound from bouncing around.
Carpet and fabrics within the space work well and are simple solutions that provide marginal gains. From experience, I would also recommend investing in acoustic panels. These can be transferred to your future office space and will really improve your video call experience.
If you are retrofitting the panels, then using the ceiling and any solid partitions will work well but if you are designing an office from scratch then I would recommend a limited use of glass and ensuring you have budget for the acoustic panels.
A lot of clients of mine in the past have decided to invest in perks for the office as opposed to real functional benefits such as the acoustic panels. I believe in function before fun when it comes to the office space. The people you want to employ should be focused on doing their work well. Having the right tools at their disposal is more important to them then a slide or a foozball table. If it isn’t then I would think about your hiring process.
A lot of designers treat issues such as acoustics as an after thought but if you want a performance that encourages high performance you should ensure you include this in your proposal from the start of the process.
For more information on office acoustics or fitting out an office space in general, get in touch today — we’d love to hear from you!