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What are the sound levels in the office acoustic booths?

A modern office space should not only fit in with current trends, but also promote comfortable and efficient working

In practice, it is common for offices, especially open-plan spaces, to be noisy, which causes difficulties in concentration and is one of the main factors in job burnout. For this reason an increasing number of companies are choosing to incorporate acoustic pods into open spaces to provide space for one-to-one or collaborative focused work. However, are these types of pods able to effectively eliminate outside sounds and provide comfort during videoconferences, presentations or team meetings? In the following article we take a closer look at the acoustics of office soundproofing booths.

Permissible noise levels in office premises

Noise is a common problem in office spaces. It is generated not only by people, but also by any equipment, such as printers, shredders or even the hum of fans in computers and air conditioning. If the environment is too noisy, it leads to fatigue, lower productivity and stress. According to the applicable Polish standard PN-N-01307:1994, noise intensity in offices must not exceed 65 dB. At the same time, it should be noted that workers whose tasks require a high degree of concentration and analysis should be housed in rooms with an acoustic comfort level of 35-40 dB or less. By comparison, it is worth mentioning that a whisper is around 10-20 dB. 

What is the impact of noise on concentration and productivity?

Noise levels above 50 decibels filling an office space can cause nervousness, make it difficult to concentrate and lead to employee fatigue. This is one of the factors having a negative impact on productivity and efficiency at work. People who perform their professional duties in such conditions make more mistakes by finding it harder to maintain focus. This is why it is so important to include suitable solutions, such as Hushoffice acoustic pods, when arranging office spaces. This will make working or breaks for relaxation and tranquillity more comfortable. Less tired staff are more productive and more profitable for the organisation.


photos: Katarzyna Seliga-Wróblewska, Marcin Wróblewski / Fotomohito
client: Mikomax

A prescription for office noise – acoustic booths for individual and team work 

Acoustic booths increase the flexibility of the arrangement. Smaller office pods such as the hushHybrid can be used as an individual workstation. They ensure that employees are not disturbed by others during videoconferences or training sessions. The hushMeet.L modular booths, on the other hand, will successfully replace traditional meeting rooms. They are ideal for brainstorming, interviews and meetings in groups of up to 8 people. The booths can be equipped with the necessary accessories and furniture, such as sofas or tables, to suit the dynamics of the work. They are available in a variety of sizes and upholstery colours to easily fit in with the style of the office. 

Is there complete silence in the acoustic booth? Acoustic standards

To measure the sound level of acoustic pods, telephone booths and other acoustic office furniture, the ISO 23351-1:2020 standard is used to give them an acoustic class of A+, A, B, C or D. Office booths with the class of A+, A and B specified during tests provide the best speech privacy. This means that conversations and meetings inside them cannot be overheard by those outside the pod. Sound insulation blocks noise and other stimuli in both directions – both from office to pod and from pod to office. They are therefore ideal for confidential and private conversations in the office, as well as for tasks that require more concentration. At the same time, the design of a good acoustic booth allows you to hear the fire alarm, for example, without any problems.

Complete silence is unnatural

Complete silence may seem like the ideal way to relax or focus on work, but it is actually an unnatural and unhealthy situation for the body. Our body and mind are constantly receiving signals from the environment, and sounds are an important part of perception. For this reason, a total reduction in noise leads to feelings of anxiety or disorientation. Muffled noise of around 40 dB reaches the acoustic pods from the open office. At the same time, layered high quality chipboard, glass, foam and fabric guarantee the discreetness of the conversations inside. 

Acoustic booths – the way to an extra workstation in the office 

Acoustic booths are practical solutions for creating additional workstations for individual work, videoconferencing or team meetings in limited office space. These small, enclosed rooms are constructed of materials with good insulation and soundproofing properties. The diversity in size and functionality of the acoustic pods makes them responsive to contemporary space design needs. In addition, when changing office locations, you can take them to the new location.

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