The Power of Acoustics in Every Space
Date: September 23, 2021
The Power of Acoustics in Every Space
Keeping acoustics at the top of your mind can be hard for one big reason: you can’t see it. However we all know how annoying, distracting, and downright stressful it can be to use an office, restaurant, or classroom with poor acoustics. The loud environment isn’t conducive to many situations! Creating good acoustics is key for making environments that protect privacy, allow for concentration, and lead to happier employees, clients, or students.
Why Acoustics Need To Be Prioritized In Offices
Did you know that acoustics are one of the top contributors to dissatisfaction within a work environment? In a study of over 50,000 workers in 351 buildings, the number one source of dissatisfaction was lack of speech privacy. Being able to hold conversations without every one of your coworkers hearing you can be critical for many offices. Beyond privacy needs, it can also just be distracting to work in a noisy office.
We work with Michael Barkman, an acoustical solutions expert and National Sales Manager/Owner of Sound Management Group, LLC to help our clients with their acoustics. He has shared valuable tips that are beneficial for many different environments. He shared with us that with proper acoustics workers don’t just feel better, they can also work better. Numerous independent studies have identified the correct acoustical environment as improving worker efficiency by 14 percent!
Proper acoustics can also solve problems in voice distortion that are a common problem with video/teleconference rooms and offices with speakerphones. That “tin can” effect that we all know well isn’t produced by faulty equipment, it’s produced by the acoustics of the room that the person is transmitting from.
Acoustics Can Create More Functional Schools
The goal for any school should be to help enable their students to learn. Large lecture rooms, high overall noise levels in a building, and rooms that need to be multi-purpose are the biggest reasons schools need to invest in acoustical solutions.
Large classrooms can be effective in higher education, but not if the teacher can’t be clearly understood by their students. Proper acoustics enables the instructor to be heard and understood by their students. This is especially important for students with hearing difficulties.
Proper acoustics also help to make rooms truly multi-purpose by allowing, for example, a gymnasium to work equally as well for a basketball game as it does a school assembly. Also, these rooms (along with cafeterias and music rooms) can be major contributors to the overall noise level in the building. Creating a lower level of intruding noise is also helpful for the productivity and happiness of the staff, the teachers, and administrators.
Bad Acoustics Is Worse Than Bad Food For Restaurants
Nothing can ruin a romantic dinner out quite like not being able to hear your date. It’s not just anecdotal evidence, surveys by both Zagat and Consumer Reports have found that excessive noise is the number one complaint diners have. That’s ahead of the service and food! Putting acoustics at the top of your to-do list can be key for customer satisfaction.
For restaurants it’s key to finding the right balance. A deadly silent room can be unnerving and a loud restaurant can convey a feeling of excitement and joy. However, if your restaurant is too loud for patrons to have a conversation it can leave a bad taste in their mouth.
Acoustics Can Contribute To HIPAA Compliance For Healthcare Facilities
All healthcare professionals need to keep the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) in mind when working with patients and their health information. This includes not just data protections but also covers oral communication. Creating confidential, HIPAA compliant spaces needs to cover more than just treatment rooms, but psychological and financial counseling areas as well.
Hospitals also deal with many of the same issues as educational spaces when it comes to large auditoriums and cafeterias. On top of that they also can have the same issues that we see in offices, especially in telecommunication spaces.
How To Manage Acoustics For Your Space
Sound management isn’t a one-size fits all solution. In our work with Michael Barkman we’ve seen first hand just how much of a difference acoustical solutions can make! In our own showroom it makes a huge difference in our ability to get work done! “It really does help me to concentrate and focus,” says Marie Richoux. “Once in a while we use our demo kit on-site for a client to test, so we don’t have it in our space; I always notice the difference in noise! It makes a huge difference in how a space feels in terms of my own comfort level, and with being able to not be distracted with what is taking place around me when trying to do head’s down work.”
Acoustical solutions aren’t just sound panels on walls or ceilings. They can be integral to your building like soundproof windows, dual purpose like acoustical blinds, and can be design focal points with custom coverings. Designing the best acoustical solution for your space is an art, and we’re always happy to work with the Sound Management Group in creating the best acoustics for our clients.
One Easy Way To Create Better Acoustics In Any Space Right Now
One of the easiest ways to create better acoustics in a space is to use furnishings and wall and floor coverings that can absorb or block sounds. Adding a beautiful GAN rug not only can make your space feel cozy, it can also help to reduce noise echoing off a hardwood or tile floor.
Seating can also be an easy way of lowering the noise level in large rooms like lobbies, entryways, or other social spaces. The Cabana Lounge and the BuzziSpark provides an acoustical shelter for people to have quiet conversations. A couple of fun options that also help to dampen noise are the BuzziPuzzle (which would be great for higher education!) Mangas Original, and Bandas Space.
Creating a great environment for your office, school, restaurant, or healthcare facility means you need to keep acoustics in mind. To learn more about how acoustical solutions can benefit your space please get in touch with Marie Richoux and set up a meeting. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule.