In the office, concentration and communication are crucial

Banestyrelsen, Copenhagen, Denmark. Architect: Hvidt & Molgaard. Photo: Malin Hultmark

In office environments, acoustics has a major impact on people’s psychological and physical well-being. We are easily distracted by voices and background sound. Such noise affects our ability to concentrate and impairs our alertness. Communication and concentration are in fact polar opposites. However, in the office, both activities need to take place at the same time. Research shows that the main threat to concentration is the voices of other people. Communication, on the other hand, is chiefly about hearing and being heard.
 
Good speech intelligibility is crucial, whether in informal conversations at the desk or formal meetings between several people in a conference room. Concentration requires disturbing sound to be kept to a minimum. In an open office landscape, it is essential that sound propagation is restricted in order to minimise disturbance, mainly between different work groups. It is important that the sound level falls quickly with distance. (bild kontor)
 
Remember

Remember:
  • Offices are places of concentration and communication
  • Research shows that the main threat to concentration is the voices of other people
  • Communication is chiefly about hearing and being heard
  • In an open office landscape, it is essential that sound propagation is restricted