A closer look at the workspaces of space starved cities like Mumbai make us realize the harsher realities of a chaotic existence. Most open offices have been victims of poor sense of acoustic design. This is also coupled with the fact that we as Indians are usually louder than other nationalities; So designers should ensure that they isolate the focus work zones from the noisy chaotic areas like the cafeteria, the collaboration areas or the reception areas
Unconsciously or consciously, we end up overhearing the conversation of another colleague if we are sitting in a cramped workspace. This results in distraction which decreases productivity and increases error rates at jobs which require high levels of concentration.
Materials like concrete and glass reflect the sounds and add on to the noise levels. However, materials like acoustic sponge, glass fibre, textile fibre, etc. are absorptive in nature and hence acoustic friendly.
Acoustic friendly materials trap sound waves and control reverberations in enclosed areas. When sound waves bounce off walls and ceilings, they create echoes and increase the overall volume. However, when they hit an acoustic friendly panel, the panel absorbs the noise by converting the waves into vibrations and reduces background noise.
When acoustic panels are placed in workspaces, they facilitate a great reduction in noise and thus increase human productivity. Right from highly absorptive desk dividers to ceilings and wall panels, there are a plethora of options available in different styles.