Before The Outbreak Of The Coronavirus, 70% Of Employees Worked In The Free Plan Offices, Which Led To Many Complaints From Employees About The Plan.
A study shows that the effects of noise in these offices are authentic and increase the negative mood by up to 25%. There is also a significant relationship between office noise and physiological stress.
How to do the study
To conduct this study, the researchers used several volunteers to examine the common noise effects of open-plan offices and a quiet private office and then to compare the two.
Researchers studied people talking to each other, walking, printing articles, ringing cell phones, and the sound of keyboards while typing.
The volunteers in this study had to do their daily work under two different sound conditions. The researchers then measured the effects of noise on their mental and physical health indicators by performing repeated measurements.
They also used sensors to measure heart rate and volunteer sweating (the two main physiological stress indicators).
Even after a short period of noise exposure, a relationship between it and stress was identified. According to researchers, office noise has increased negative mood by 25 percent and staff sweating by 34 percent.
Although there is no immediate effect on employee performance decline, it makes sense to assume that such latent stress will be detrimental to people’s health and productivity in the long run.
Exact cause-and-effect relationships
Studies in this area show that in previous studies, only self-assessment measures have been used. They also did not use controlled experimental conditions and did not examine acoustic parameters.
However, this new study highlights the cause-and-effect relationship between open-plan office noise and employee comfort.
Although the noise of these offices rarely poses an immediate danger, their uninterrupted daily presence intensifies its impact.
High levels of physiological stress are detrimental to a person’s mental and physical health. A negative mood may impair a person’s job commitment in the long run and potentially increase the likelihood of employees leaving.
But what to do?
The corona epidemic has changed the way we think about office work. Surveys show that if employers do not include flexibility in working, 70% of employees will be looking for a new job.
So creating a healthy work environment is now more important than ever.
Although this does not eliminate free plan offices, the researchers’ study highlights the importance of understanding the needs of employees in designing workspaces.
Therefore, to solve office noise, it is better to do things like using old-fashioned partitions.
Although doing these things can be costly, the low quality of the workplace also has a huge impact on employee productivity.