The ideal office is built, rebuilt, renovated or transformed with special attention to acoustics, light, air quality and thermal comfort. In the ideal office working is productive, comfortable and healthy. The ecological footprint is under control and the interior is easy to adapt to the future wishes of the users of the property. A good acoustic environment can reduce adrenalin levels by 30%, increase job motivation by 66% and improve performance and accuracy by up to 50% in complex tasks. Exposure to noise is significantly correlated to it absenteeism. Increasing the light level from 300 to 500 lux increases the productivity by 8%. An optimal thermal indoor climate can lead to an increase in productivity of no less than 12.5%. Personnel costs quickly amount to 80% or more of the total costs of an organisation. Every percent of productivity increase, therefore has a positive effect on efficiency and profitability of your organisation. A full service workplace consultancy, interior design and office fit out company can help you with this process. Think for example about partionioning, (acoustic) ceilings, flooring, fixed furniture and acoustic panels. Sound is the biggest irrittation in an office. 90% of the office staff indicates that they would be considerably more productive when noise pollution is minimised. These days many organisations choose open offices because this promotes communication, cooperation and creativity . At the same time, unwanted noise from colleagues is by far the number one irritation factor in offices. 90% of the office staff indicate that they are more would be much more productive when noise pollution is minimised. A workplace consultancy and interior design company will try to find out what activities are there performed in the office? How big is the space, what happens in the adjacent offices, which furniture is in the space and what sources of sounds are present? What specific needs do users have? Where is the office and which sound factors are there in the immediate vicinity? An office near Newcastle aiport requires different acoustic solutions than an office in Fort-William.
interior photography: Vincent Hartman
On the basis of the acoustic inventory, it is determined which measures are needed to adequately isolate sound and to check room acoustics. Where necessary, we employ acoustic specialists. Trying to listen in a room with bad acoustics is comparable with trying to read without light. Attention to room acoustics is of great importance in for example: general areas such as reception areas and company restaurants. It is important to know the noise level here keep low to prevent the ‘cocktail effect’ (Lombard effect). The cocktail effect arises when the noise level increases and people start talking more loudly. This leads to noise nuisance in the workplace. A project space. Annoying wall-to-wall echoes (flutter echoes) must be prevented in order to create good speech intelligibility and to promote communication. In open office spaces tthe sound volume may not be too high but also not be completely muted either. In a workspace that is too quiet the feeling of ‘speech privacy’ is lacking. Background noise is needed to make people feel free to speak freely. When creating a pleasant acoustic environment, acoustic solutions are indispensable. New research from the Stress Research Institute in Stockholm shows that improving the sound environment in an open office provides 30% less distraction and stress. Another international research has already shown that office workers loose 86 minutes every day due to distraction caused by noise. So there is a lot to do with noise and acoustics measures when it comes to comfort and productivity on the work floor.
Exposure to noise is significantly correlated to absenteeism: the more complex the task, the more concentration required and the greater the correlation.
It is important to pay attention to the lighting situations during (or preferable before starting) an office refurbishement project because: light is a necessary condition for the good performing of work duties. Light affects the atmosphere in an office and has effect on the brand identity. Of all electricity used in a building Approximately 30% is spent on lighting. Improvement of the light in an office can consist of: increasing the amount of daylight. Choosing the right illuminance and color temperature at any time of the da and preventing glare. Daylight stimulates a number of important processes in our body, such as the production of various vitamins. Moreover, research shows that there is a relationship between the amount of light (especially daylight) and mood, the feeling of fitness, well-being and ultimately the productivity of an employee. An increase in the level of light from 300 to 500 lux increases productivity by 8%, according to scientific research. Also ceilings and the color of the interior are important for the amount of light in an office.
Air in the workplace deviates from the outside air. In the workplace concentrations of substances, gases and vapors are much higher, without being able to see or smell this. These days, offices are so well insulated that there is far too little fresh air and air circulation. Air circulation is important because it is the source of the spread of bacteria, viruses, pollen, house dust mites and fungi. It is important in every workplace that the polluted air is replaced by fresh air with which the CO2 values remain within acceptable levels. Too high CO2 values and too low humidity causes concentration loss, reduces labor productivity and causes physical complaints such as headaches, burning eyes and fatigue. Good air quality in an office, according to the regulations, contains less than 0.1 volume percent of CO2 (1,000 ppm). Desirable is a relative humidity between 30% and 70%. Ventilation however should never lead to annoying drafts.
Speak to the workplace consultants of Amos Beech to discuss your office challenges!