Is it game over for office workplaces?

Covid-19 News | Employment & Skills | Surveys

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While most UK home workers say they are as productive or more productive working at home as they are in the office (63%), only 39% of respondents believe their previous office environment’s noise levels were conducive to maximum productivity. That’s according to a survey of 300 UK respondents by acoustic and vibration engineering specialist Mason UK.

Furthermore, 57 per cent of respondents believed their home environment was quiet enough to enable maximum productivity, reinforcing the clear link between noise and work output.

“Office environments come in many different forms,” explained Adam Fox, director of Mason UK. “While some have been carefully mapped out and engineered, others could be the result of a much more haphazard renovation. The latter is likely to be why at least some of the 68 per cent of dissatisfied workers responded in the way they did. The results indicate people are working better at home, but there is also much more to the story than simply location.

“Before UK Plc decided to work from home based on a four- or five-month exceptional situation, let’s analyse the facts and create a better normal, instead of a new normal. While office blocks are currently running at dramatically reduced occupancy, we have a chance to think about how these buildings can better serve the people that use them in a way that supports wellbeing, productivity and health.

“Office acoustics is often overlooked but can be very detrimental to staff efficiency, the layout, finishes and office environment all can have a significant effect, as can disturbance from nearby noise sources such as rail or other facilities.

“For example, gym facilities are very popular in commercial buildings right now, designed to help workers stay healthy in a convenient way. These intentions are all well and good, until the shudder of weight drops results in noise complaints from workers below or above the gym space. It’s important to get the right acoustic consultants on board in projects like these, who can specify the best type of vibration isolation to put in place.”

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