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27 April 2017

Designed for the senses

Research shows that workers in an open office are 15 percent less productive and have more difficulty concentrating

When we walk into a building or a room, we experience and absorb the space with all our senses. This begs the question, why does architecture focus so heavily on the visual appearance of a building?

We find in multiple studies that a building’s noise level is the second most important physical feature affecting workplace productivity.

As more companies rely on human productivity, the more we need to understand what effects bad indoor climate has on employee efficiency.

Open distraction

Office distraction has a direct relationship on the speed and accuracy of performing a task, stress levels, amount of sick leave and employee turnover rates.

Research has shown that workers in an open office are 15% less productive, have more difficulty concentrating and can lose up to 20 minutes of concentrated work due to small office distractions. Nevertheless, it has been shown that making acoustic adjustments to the office environment can yield positive results.

The four benefits of bringing good acoustics to an open office are:

  • 48% increase in employee focus
  • 51% drop in employee distraction
  • 10% fewer errors made
  • 27% reduction in stress level

How to increase office productivity

Reducing the level of distraction and the harmful effects of noise, while creating a flexible and engaging work environment can be a challenge. The use of non-noise reflecting material on ceilings and walls can help reduce speech reverberation times, lowering distractive influences in open offices.


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