Knowledge Share

Noise Pollution is the topic for a series of upcoming Lunch n Learns we’ll be hosting!

Throughout our industry there is a lot of discussion about the new Health and Safety at Work Act, particularly surrounding the stronger obligations to deal with workplace stress.

Our focus in this discussion is noise in the workplace.

It has been well documented that certain levels of noise in an office can incapacitate a person’s ability to concentrate on a task thus leading to stress response. Increased stress has detrimental effects on our health and it’s we must take action to eliminate or mitigate these stresses.  In addition to longer term health issues there are short term impacts on productivity, job satisfaction, morale and fatigue.

A recent survey by the University of Sydney found that sound privacy was the biggest drain on employee morale, interestingly high partitions made it worse! Noise can be so pervasive that often we don’t realise what it does to us.

Julian Treasure’s TED Talk is worth 9 minutes of your time, he talks about why we need to design spaces with our ears.

Getting to grips with the best solution for minimising noise and disruption in the workplace can be a mission in itself. Design thinking is infusing itself into furniture design and placement so we can better control sound absorption but for the user it’s hard to know what will work without wasting time or budget.

Our partnership work Haworth gives us access to new technology that informs the way we design furniture and utilise space, with a big focus on the management of noise and sound incorporated into our thinking.

In October we will be running a series of seminars in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch to share this knowledge. We’ll send invites out with save the date details in the next month.

Noise Pollution