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Acoustic and Visual Privacy in the Workplace

Posted on: July 31, 2018

Did you know that one of the biggest factors in job satisfaction is privacy in the workplace? According to a recent study of over 50,000 workers, the number one source of job dissatisfaction is lack of privacy.

Now that offices are being designed to reflect an open floor plan, workers need spaces that will provide by visual and acoustic privacy for personal and work-related matters. In any industry, having areas in the space that offer privacy for calls or meetings with clients or even with other staff members so that sensitive information which requires discretion and confidentiality can be discussed. If you want to achieve increased job satisfaction and engagement for your employees, here are a few design considerations to think about.

Acoustic Privacy
One of the most important aspects of acoustic privacy is achieving speech privacy in a workplace. Speech privacy simply means that when conversations are taking place, listeners may hear sounds, but cannot make out what the speakers are saying. In design, to achieve the correct level of speech privacy, it requires a careful analysis of the space taking into consideration, function, physical design elements including walls, ceilings and floors, ambient environment and background sounds.

Ways to Achieve Effective Acoustical Design
Haworth suggests following the ABCs of acoustical workspace design by using design features that absorb, block and cover sound to achieve speech privacy.
Absorbing sound: carpeted floors, area rugs, absorptive ceilings will reduce sound levels in a room and cut down on reflection of sound which causes conversations and speech to carry throughout your space.
Blocking sound: using walls, moveable partitions, double pane glass walls, and suspended ceiling tiles provide a physical barrier to block the transmission of speech sounds between rooms.
Covering sound: The best way to cover sounds is to use a masking system. Masking systems are programmed to reduce the noise made by conversations and speech.

Visual Privacy
While visual privacy is often hard to achieve, some companies have opted to build a cluster of private, closed office spaces around the edge of the main, open area. Some other options to create privacy are using high back lounge seating or movable partitions.

Are you ready to increase the privacy in your workspace?
At Bellia, we have experience in designing open spaces that maintain a certain level of acoustic and visual privacy to help companies create atmospheres that increase productivity, job satisfaction and engagement. Let us evaluate your space today!

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