Noise from the neighboring streets and buildings can really make life uncomfortable for your employees. It can affect their level of concentration and peace of mind, reducing their productivity in the process. It is thus important to get the level of noise in your office under control so that your employees can become more productive. Here are a few techniques you might want to consider.
Check Noise Levels
You need to check the noise levels within the building before you lease of buy it. Visit the building at different times of the day to listen to consistent noise from the street and inside. Determine whether the property has acceptable levels of noise protection. If there is not enough protection, then you can decide not settle in the building. You can also choose to invest in outdoor sound barriers. Installing sound barriers will incur some extra costs, so you need to budget appropriately.
Implement Quiet Hours Policy
The more employees you have, the more likely you will deal with a lot of noise. You can address this problem by developing and implementing a quiet hours policy. Quiet hours ensure that every employee and people located in surrounding buildings enjoy their time without any disturbances. Having such a policy will ensure employees know what is expected of them at a particular time of the day. Make sure the policy spells out consequences in case anyone violates it. For instance, if an employee is found to have violated the rules in the policy three times, he or she can be suspended for three days without pay.
Use Double Pane Windows
Double pane windows have been found to reduce outside noise. However, double pane windows cost a lot of money. A typical average sized window will cost between $200 and $500. This can be manageable if there are no many windows to replace in the building. Another alternative, which is a bit cheaper, is to hang fabric drapes. Since fabric drapes are heavy and dense, they will help prevent a considerable amount of exterior noise from entering the building. They will also help decrease any drafts.
Insulate the Walls
You need to insulate the walls properly. Insulation is especially important if there is a lot of noise between the buildings. To properly insulate your building, you will have to open up the walls. This might be expensive, but it is totally worth it if your work environment requires a great deal of silence and concentration. If you don’t want to open up the walls, then you can use foam insulation boards. You can cover the boards with fabric and hung them on the walls. Apart from fabric boards, you can place a few plants near the walls. Plants have been shown to have the ability to absorb noise.
Noise is a major problem that has the potential to lower the level of productivity at work. If your office is located near a train station or busy street, then you have no any other choice but to minimize noise. Use the tips discussed above to get started.