Is noise a problem?
Too quiet or too loud? Disruptive noise can be an issue for employees engaged in normal, everyday activities such as reading, writing or analysis. The noise causes a distraction, making it difficult for employees to concentrate on tasks, causing stress and reducing productivity. Just as distracting is an acoustic environment resembling a library, with voices carrying further and seeming louder.
Lack of speech privacy is another common issue. Adjoining workers' conversations can become unintentionally distracting to the casual listener and in confidential environments this lack of privacy may result in breeches of security.
Categorising these issues into three main categories help determine the best course of action to take.
Speech privacy issues
Typical in cellular or closed office work spaces
Noise and concentration issues
Typical in open-plan work spaces
Combined: speech privacy, noise and concentration issues
Typical in work spaces where closed offices and open-plan areas are in close proximity