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Employees’ return to office halted by workplace noise

by LLB Editor
7th Jun 23 1:05 pm

Oscar Acoustics, a specialist in decorative acoustic finishes, has released findings from a detailed study, revealing the detrimental impact noisy and disruptive workspaces are having on London employees, driving them to increasingly work from home. The study revealed that 15% of workers believe employers are not taking the issue of excessive noise seriously.

A recent survey conducted among 440 office workers across various industries and company sizes in London has shed light on the detrimental effects of excessive noise in the workplace. Astonishingly, a quarter of white collar workers reported making formal complaints about noisy colleagues, while 11% felt compelled to leave their jobs altogether.

The research underscored the situation at hand, revealing that only 5% of employees work in a quiet office environment, leaving one in six workers convinced that employers are not taking the issue of excessive noise seriously. Nearly two-fifths (37%) of respondents confessed to struggling with concentration in high-volume workplaces, with 16% indicating that persistent noise levels have impeded their ability to meet deadlines. Furthermore, over one in six admitted to delivering subpar work due to the impact of noise, resulting in disrupted workflow and compromised productivity.

The consequences of excessive noise extend beyond productivity, as the research highlighted the alarming fact that 23% of employees have suffered from hearing damage as a result. Additionally, working in the fast-paced city has led to heightened stress levels for 30% of respondents, with more than one in four having to work late nights, or arrive at the office early, in order to maintain productivity.

When probed about the measures employers are taking to address this issue, 18% of employees revealed that no action has been taken thus far. However, 39% acknowledged positive steps taken by their employers, such as the implementation of quiet zones to support focused work.

The findings of this study emphasise the urgent need for employers to address the problem of excessive noise in the workplace, not only to boost productivity but also to safeguard the well-being of their workforce. This report is part of a wider whitepaper issued by Oscar Acoustics that aims to advocate acoustic health in workspace design from the outset.

Ben Hancock, Managing Director at Oscar Acoustics, said: “For far too long, the acute issue of noise in our workplaces has been ignored, yet its consequences are undeniable. With discussions surrounding hybrid working models continuing to gain momentum, the lasting effects on employee health, productivity, and quality of work have now become a glaring issue.

Our research shows that creating the ideal environment for people to flourish and feel at ease, is a crucial step in helping businesses to encourage staff back into the office. With health and wellbeing now at the top of the agenda, addressing the issue of excessive noise should be front and centre for employers.

It’s evident that acoustically balanced workspaces alleviate stress and contribute to a contented and efficient workforce. Specially designed acoustic sprays can prove to be the most effective in eliminating the negative impact of harmful noise levels. Choosing the right acoustic solution will, ultimately, result in quiet and appealing workspaces that employees will want to return to time and again.”

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