Office Acoustics: How to Soundproof Your Workspace

Office Acoustics Snowsound Baffle Ceiling Acoustic Panels

The challenge of office acoustics is something architects, interior designers and space planners and have been wrestling with since the office became a central place for work. What are office acoustics?  Office acoustics refer to the way sound behaves in the work environment, ranging from small background noises to regular speaking volume. Throughout the many forms and evolutions the office has taken, noise has been a consistent factor viewed in different ways, especially in recent decades when open-plan office layouts have become more popular.  Are workers distracted by poor acoustics and can’t concentrate? Or do they find themselves ready to sacrifice peace and quiet to be immersed in collaboration and desire to be surrounded by others?

How do we find the perfect balance?

Use office acoustic solutions.


Photo: Loftwall Parallel Desk Divider

The Great Variety of Office Acoustic Solutions


Photo: Nevins Ariel Acoustic Hanging Panel

Office acoustics solutions are products that absorb and diffuse sound waves and vibrations to reduce noise in a workspace. They can also improve sound quality and are typically made of lightweight materials such as polyester fibre, mineral wool, or biophilic elements like wood, cork or moss. These materials come in a variety of sizes, shapes and colors, and oftentimes may serve as decorative objects. There are various types of acoustic products. They can be integral parts of the office, like ceiling tiles, panels, carpeting, and double-paned windows.  They can also serve a combination of aesthetic and functional purpose like dividers, planters, and ancillary furniture and accessories.

The Hybrid Schedule 

Now that more people are coming back to the office, many businesses are turning to a hybrid work model that allows employees to work at a fixed schedule in-office and remotely for the sake of flexibility and better work-life balance. Harvard Business Review and Stanford’s research shows that the hybrid work scenario where workers go to the office for at least three days a week is 50% more effective at completing tasks, boosting motivation and increasing engagement with their work. Individuals are using this work model to their advantage; working remotely in privacy and isolation to concentrate on their assignments, and coming to the office in person to be immersed in the company culture, foster connection, and spark creativity through collaboration.

Office Acoustics in Open-Plan Spaces

The hybrid schedule led to the return of open-plan layout and industrial office lofts: environments known for being flexible with space and capable of supporting different work styles while encouraging communication and innovation. But the open office comes with potential issues too. Collaborating together creates noise that can serve as a distraction for others who needs to focus. Now, companies are very much invested in looking for a solution that would resolve their sound issues and help divide spaces into designated areas. That’s why with the reemergence of open-plan spaces, office acoustic panels that function as space dividers are now becoming increasingly popular.  Many are being used not only to dampen noise and optimize sound quality, but to divide spaces and create separate environments for different applications and purposes. 

The Right Balance of Sound

One should never underestimate the power of office acoustics, especially in the workplace. Office acoustics can have an enormous effect on the overall working environment, dictating how well people communicate and perform they daily tasks. It’s all about finding a good balance. Instead of swinging between two extremes of isolation and noise, acoustic solutions can restore equilibrium in the workplace and come with many benefits. By absorbing sound and reducing noise, these products can significantly improve the overall sound quality and help achieve the best acoustics for office environments with the additional perks of boosting concentration, effective communication and worker productivity.

Multi-Functional Office Acoustics


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas Wall

Best of all, acoustic solutions can be multi-functional. Why clutter your office space with too many products that only serve one purpose when you can save space with just one? Today, there’s an endless array of products in the market ranging from space dividers, desk shields, wall panels, suspended ornaments, planters, shelving, soft furniture, cubbies, ceiling tiles and more.  It also comes with the added bonus of offering clients a strong, favorable impression the moment they walk through the company doors, especially now that corporations have taken more initiative to create and present stronger, identifiable brands.  All in all, office acoustics solutions not only optimize the overall sound quality of your office environments but also add immense value by elevating the look and feel of the entire office space, ultimately enhancing overall mood, productivity, creativity and employee well-being. 

As our needs in the office evolve, our offices evolve with them. And the key to answering the challenge of balancing collaboration and productivity with privacy and concentration: office acoustic solutions. 

Recommended Office Acoustic Solutions

MERGEWORKS ECHODECO BEAM BAFFLES – Office acoustic ceiling panels like the MergeWorks EchoDeco Beam Baffles can be hung horizontally and add a pop of fun texture and color while ensuring noise levels stay low. Acoustic baffles are great for controlling reverberation in spaces with high ceilings and give a sense of privacy in an open space. 


Photo: MergeWorks EchoDeco Beam Baffles

SNOWSOUND SI SBOCCIA – When sound bounces off hard surfaces and amplifies unwanted noise, wall panels are extremely helpful in office soundproofing and can even double as art pieces. The Snowsound Si Sboccia panel takes inspiration from rosebuds and can be wall-mounted or suspended from the ceilings as decorative design elements.

SCANDINAVIAN SPACES PIXEL AND PIXEL FRAMED – The Scandinavian Spaces Pixel and Pixel Framed panels are made of organic materials such as wood and moss.  They are excellent as office acoustic wall panels because they can absorb a range of frequencies with little-to-no maintenance, and provide great color and texture to your office walls. 

AMQ’S 3F WALL TILE – AMQ’s 3F Wall Tiles are another artistic office acoustic panels solution that can improve sound quality with its wide array of subtle and bold panels made from felt—a fibrous material with excellent sound-insulating properties. 


Photo: Snowsound Si Sboccia, Scandinavian Spaces Pixel and Pixel Framed, and AMQ’s 3F Wall Tiles

LOFTWALL ROOMS WALL SYSTEM – Office acoustic solutions can take other forms, too. The Loftwall Rooms Wall System is a quick and easy way to carve out your separate office spaces using a demountable partition system that has sound absorbing and sound dampening benefits.


Photo: Loftwall Rooms Wall System

MERGEWORKS URBAN WALLS ROOM DIVIDER – Similarly, the MergeWorks Urban Walls Room Divider makes perfect office acoustic partitions that can construct meeting rooms, huddle spaces, or private areas in a blink of an eye without the added expense. Its acrylic wall panels are an effective sound barrier that keeps noise contained where it needs to be, and also provides tack-boards and dry-erase boards for even more use and functionality.


Photo: MergeWorks Urban Walls Room Divider

MAVERICK PLANTERS – Maverick Planters reduce noise pollution because vegetation naturally absorbs and diffuses sound. Planters can also be used as partitions to divide the space in the office and come with additional benefits like providing privacy, increasing productivity and improving air quality. 


Photo: Maverick Planters

LOFTWALL SHIFT SHELF AND SPACE DIVIDER – Loftwall’s Shift Shelf and Space Divider combine necessity with privacy. Shelves are extremely useful for storage and organizing in the workplace, and Loftwall adds their own ingenious take on office essentials by creating a modern shelving solution that carves out spaces, offers storage, and uses stylishly clever panels to control acoustics.


Photo: Loftwall Shift Shelf and Space Divider

Read Also: Stylish Noise Reducing Office Furniture Trends for 2024
Main Photo: Snowsound Baffle Ceiling Panel
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQLoftwall, Maverick, MergeWorks, Scandinavian Spaces, Snowsound

Editor’s Choice: NeoCon 2022 Winners

NeoCon 2022 Winners

What’s in store for the future of office furniture? NeoCon 2022 dazzled the world this month with game-changing innovations and revolutionary new products unveiled by more than 400 leading companies.  As the single most important event in the commercial design industry, this annual show drew nearly 40,000 attendants to Chicago to celebrate upcoming trends in furniture, textiles, building materials, lighting, wall coverings, accessories, outdoor products and more. Every year a selected panel of industry professionals announces the “Best of NeoCon” winners,  honoring outstanding new products in 54 product categories.  Below are some of ourfavorite NeoCon 2022 winners and standouts, capturing our imaginations with their thoughtful designs, unique features, and the promise of better, exciting times ahead.

Amobi by AMQ

INNOVATION WINNER / FURNITURE SYSTEMS – AMQ has long since been a reliable company that regularly produces modern products on quick timelines for a great budget. At NeoCon 2022, AMQ’s Amobi won the Innovation Award for the Furniture Systems category. Amobi gives us a glimpse of the future of work; it exemplifies a more collaborative and fluid style of working and recognizes the need for rapid configuration for a more flexible workflow. The Amobi Desk is a mobile workstation with easy transport and storage design, as well as additional privacy options. Amobi Team pairs well with the desk, featuring a family of mobile carts and walls that double as collaboration hubs or privacy walls.


Photo: AMQ Amobi Agile Workspaces

Focaccia by Koncept

GOLD WINNER / LIGHTING: TASK – The Focaccia Desk Lamp is another leading product that showcases the recent trends of the workplace: flexibility. With its sleek metal frame and slim base, Focaccia is an unobtrusive addition to your desk. Focaccia also offers an adjustable soft, diffused light from 2700k to 5000k, making it perfect for professionals that need minimal shadows and maximum luminescence.


Photo: Koncept Focaccia Desk Lamp

Fleet by OFS

SILVER WINNER / COLLECTIONS FOR COLLABORATION – OFS strikes again with the Silver Award winner Fleet Collection. Made to adapt to the everchanging flow of work and life, Fleet is made through “Soft Architecture,” architectural furniture designed to never make you feel like you’re boxed into a cubicle. Fleet’s tables are oval-shaped and come with optional casters for easy mobility. Their conference tables can be personalized with a canopy and media screen. Fleet seating complement their tables with their three different stool models to fit the user’s needs. Fleet planters add a pop of green in a variety of shapes to energize the office.


Photo: OFS Fleet Series

Kaleid by OFS

GOLD WINNER / WORKPLACE ACCESSORIES – In line with the philosophies of the Fleet Collection, Kaleid  was made to match increasingly dynamic offices. The Kaleid Collaborative Division Shelves are crafted with warm wood and come in multiple configurations and options for media units. Whether you want to use it as a board, self-watering planters, or shelving unit, Kaleid can adapt itself to fit your needs.


Photo: OFS Brands Kaleid Collection

Plot Twist by OM Seating

GOLD WINNER / SEATING: STOOLS – Whimsical, playful and lightweight, Plot Twist by OM Seating brings people together in a creative and collaborative way.  Featuring the fun, warm comfort of a pouf and robust optional adjustable height tablet surfaces, the collection reimagines casual brainstorming sessions, impromptu meanings and sharing of ideas – all the while being easily mobile.  They can also be configured with or without a backrest, and are available in multiple vibrant colors.

Photo: OM Seating Plot Twist

Adapt Wall by Senator

GOLD WINNER / COLLECTIONS FOR COLLABORATION – The Adapt Wall Partitions are Senator’s solution to the change of the individual’s daily work routine. Crowned the Gold Award for NeoCon’s collaboration collection category, Adapt serves as a mobile partition with additional functions such as a drawing board, shelf, coat hanger, and more. With four configurations in mind, Adapt enables a more agile, fluid, and flexible dynamic within the office.


Photo: Senator Adapt Wall Partitions

CellPod by Senator

2010 EDITOR’S HONORABLE MENTION – Innovation meets collaboration with Senator’s CellPod series. Senator gives a nod to the importance of collaboration with CellPod, a fully demountable room that still provides all the architectural qualities and services you would expect from a traditionally built environment. The CellPod has four configurations: Cabana, Focus, Meeting, and Round Personal. Cabana features a more open setting with its three-sided walls for larger meetings, while Focus and Round Personal were created to help the user immerse themselves in their work with no interruptions. The Meeting CellPod offers a more intimate meeting and collaboration space for smaller groups of people.


Photo: Senator CellPod

Reya by SitOnIt

SILVER WINNER / WORK FROM HOME SOLUTIONS – Reya is the desk for everyone, whether this means official or family business. Marketed as a work-from-home piece, Reya provides a dedicated place to escape the clutter with customizable options. This desk features rounded corners and a slim, modern design, capable of fitting into almost any room. Reya also boasts a patent-pending, lightning-fast assembly, meaning users don’t have to break a sweat putting this desk together.


Photo: SitOnIt Seating Reya Desk

Umo by Stylex

SILVER WINNER / TABLES: OCCASIONAL – Turn heads with the Stylex Umo Table. With its unique base and wood materials, Umo serves multiple functions, from adding visual warmth to any space to its efficient utility as an accent table. Featuring 4 wood finishes, the Umo Table is perfect for spaces that blur the lines between residential and commercial.


Photo: Stylex Umo Table

Jeté by Via Seating

SUSTAINABILITY WINNER / SEATING: CONFERENCE – The Via Seating Jete Chair is a conversation-starter with its distinctive European aesthetic and multitude of features. Jete is a combination of Via Seating’s signature comfort, unmatched design, and sustainable innovation. Available in high and mid back forms, as well as a variety of customizable upholstery and arms options, Jete creates an uncompromising standard for all executive-conference chairs.


Photo: Via Seating Jeté Chair

All NeoCon 2022 Winners

For a complete list of Best of NeoCon winners, please visit the official NeoCon website here.

Interested More in NeoCon 2022?

Looking for more info or inspiration?  Explore all the latest office furniture possibilities with the specialists at 2010 Office Furniture. Our team has nearly 50 years of combined experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small business from Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the Inland Empire.

Contact us and let us know about your potential project needs.  We can help you create the modern office that fits perfectly for you and your employees.

Read Also: NeoCon 2022 Trends: The Future of Office Furniture
Main Photo: OM Seating Plot Twist, OFS Fleet and Senator CellPod
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: NeoCon
AMQKonceptOFS BrandsOM Seating, Senator, SitOnIt Seating, StylexTrendway and Via Seating

NeoCon 2022 Trends: The Future of Office Furniture

NeoCon 2022 Trends

Every year, NeoCon takes our breath away with the unveiling of new and revolutionary designs in commercial office furniture. This year is no exception as the largest event of the industry introduced all the long awaited NeoCon 2022 trends earlier this month. Since 1990, NeoCon has been the leading hub of the commercial design community, giving designers, architects, end-users, manufacturers, dealers, service providers, associations, educators, students and media the chance to educate and, at equal turns, learn about game-changing products and services from more than 400 leading companies and emerging competitors. Countless products are entered for the chance of recognition at the world’s leading platform.

With 10 categories ranging from Best of Competition to Textiles, NeoCon is pivotal to setting trends. So what’s new in the world of commercial design?

Trend 1: Micro Spaces

Micro spaces—such as pods, dens or booths—are receiving an upgrade as one of the biggest NeoCon 2022 trends. It was the solution to the issues of the open office, a floor plan meant to foster collaboration, but instead can result in very distracting, noisy environments where employees find it challenging for concentrated work. Micro spaces on the other hand create a comfortable workspace that allow people to focus. They provide a quiet, less exposed environment for individual work, but glass doors and open doorways also ensure people aren’t completely cut off from the pulse of the company. Even better, in light of the pandemic, micro spaces can reduce the spread of diseases by preventing too many people from inhabiting a crowded area.

Groupe Lacasse PanGram Social Distancing Office Design and Nevins Phone Booth provide excellent micro spaces that tastefully transforms otherwise unused spaces to functional private work environments.


Photo: Groupe Lacasse PanGram and Nevins Phone Booth

Trend 2: Flexible Furniture

If there is anything office interior designers observed from the past three years, it’s that we no longer need X desks for Y people. We are no longer in the era of cubicle farms. How we work has changed and the office has changed with us. The office can now be rearranged to support different ways of working. Areas like open-plan benching, micro spaces, and breakrooms will give your team more chances to personalize their work experiences and boost productivity.

The OFS Fleet personifies adaptability. The Fleet table can be reconfigured for individual, group, and organizational needs.


Photo: OFS Fleet

Trend 3: Resimercial Inspiration

The resimercial aesthetic has been a popular trend in recent years and continues to be seen as one of the NeoCon 2022 trends. It’s a furnishing style meant to bring the relaxed feel of home into the formal office environment. Since quarantine, workers have been enjoying the ability to work from the comforts of home. To draw them back to the office, designers have taken inspiration from where they’ve been working in, bringing in furniture that emphasizes comfortable seating, ambient lighting, durable upholstery, and accessories like rugs and lamps.

Check out the National Collette Seating, a product that inspires employees to work in a space that exemplifies comfort and is reminiscent of home.


Photo: National Collette Seating

Trend 4: Bold Colors

Bold colors are making a comeback after years of using calm, neutral colors. Adding a beautiful pop of color can liven the office up. How organizations use colors often set the tone for the company’s culture, from calm to cheerful.

NeoCon 2022 showcases flexible ways to bring color into your space through accessories. For instance, this Stylex Trim Table setup features different brightly colored privacy walls and accessories that add an air of playfulness to the setting. ERG’s International Parma Table has accents of vivid colors that liven up offices.


Photo: Stylex Trim Table and ERG International Parma Table

Trend 5: Acoustic Materials

We’ve learned from past office trends that the cubicle farm made workers feel isolated and dehumanized. In an effort to find a more flexible solution for privacy and quiet, designers had to look away from hard surfaces because they cause sounds to echo and magnify. Soft surfaces like acoustic walls are the perfect sweet spot for the office because it not only reduces noise but have the mobility to be set up and rearranged at any time.  It’s no wonder that it’s one of this year’s top NeoCon 2022 trends.

Snowsound’s Botanica is a modern, lightweight acoustic screen made with high-quality sound absorbing elements that reduces ambient noise.


Photo: Snowsound Botanic Acoustic Panel

Trend 6: Touch Down Spaces

Throughout the years, we’ve been seeing more and more rigid work structures in our offices change and evolve with the people. No longer are meeting rooms only for large groups of people doing formal presentations. Employees are looking for more personal meeting spaces that are more informal and can easily be set up or reconfigured and separated in a flash.

This HON Preside Table and Flock Seating setup, as well as the OFS Obeya Architectural Structures, provide two perfect examples of touch down spaces. Whether you’re there for a group project or “me time,” these support your needs to get work done.


Photo: HON Preside Table and Flock Seating and OFS Obeya Architectural Structure

Trend 7: Retro Influence

We’re seeing a resurgence of old trends. The 70’s design style is usually touted as an ugly mistake with shag carpets and strange color combinations, but in a time when color can represent optimism and play, we’re glad to see it back as part of NeoCon 2022 trends.

National’s Hobsen Chair exhibits obvious 70s influence with its earthy, warm color scheme, psychedelic patterns, and wood accents.


Photo: National Hobsen Chair

NeoCon 2022 Trends Showcases Innovation at Every Turn

NeoCon has been a trendsetter for commercial design since 1990 and continues to be so to this day. From new trends such as touchdown spaces and callbacks to retro inspiration, NeoCon gives the stage to leading competitors to stun the world with new office products and solutions.

Interested More in NeoCon 2022 Trends?

Looking for more info or inspiration?  Explore all the latest office furniture possibilities with the specialists at 2010 Office Furniture. Our team has nearly 50 years of combined experience working with Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small business from Los Angeles and Orange Counties to the Inland Empire.

Contact us and let us know about your potential project needs.  We can help you create the modern office that fits perfectly for you and your employees.

Read Also: Office Furniture Trends 2022: What’s New in Commercial Office Furniture
Main Photo: Senator Adapt Wall
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: ERG International, Groupe Lacasse, HON, National, Nevins, OFS Brands, Snowsound & Stylex