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

Get Inspired with These Top 10 Office Design Trends for 2024

Office Design Trends for 2024 Friant Dash Desk

Keep your office refreshed or plan an entirely new space using these 10 office design trends for 2024.

Make your workspace a destination where employees want to enter. Inspire them to get engaged in their professional strengths while blending their individual personalities with the companys brand.

Thats not an easy feat and requires expert space planning, but the benefits include people who feel ownership of their work and know that theyre well supported.

Some experts find that human-centric workspaces are more likely to exhibit high performance and are likely to attract younger talent.

Lets take a closer look.

Next-Level Collaborative Spaces

Offices have gone from traditional solid walls and conference rooms to open offices.  What are office design trends for 2024 looking like?

Open-office plans made a big splash by removing physical walls and using bench workstations and seating to bring workers together. But critics realized that people still needed private spaces to focus.

Now, traditional meetings may be going goodbye, too.

Shopify cut down the number of employee meetings this year, as reported on LinkedIn, and the company expects several teams to complete 25% more projects by the end of the year compared to last year.

What to do?

The need for communication and collaboration remains. Find creative ways to share corporate values and goals while creating welcoming environments.

Get ideas on work environments that reflect your corporate brand on the 2010 Office Inspirations page, an online showcase revealing possibilities.

Planning for Personality as Office Design Trends for 2024

Your company has a brand personality and the people who work for you, and with you, have their unique personalities.

Check out these following office design trends for 2024 and see what works for your company.

Use corporate spaces to reflect the Big Picture, just like the National Hockey League did at their offices in Manhattan at One Manhattan West. Bold graphics with team logos line a hallway.

Your company can incorporate the golden hues of the mountains around Los Angeles County and Orange County and blend the teal of ocean waves with the shimmering skies.


Photo: Maverick Gravity Reception Desk

Begin with the reception area where you can incorporate your brand with the reception desk, guest chairs, and tables.

Or you can pay homage to the regions once plentiful orange groves or other historic attributes.


Photo: Scale 1:1 Eyhov Workstation

Let your employees bring their personalities out within their workstations to showcase hobbies and special skills.

Multi-Purpose Spaces

Designing spaces with multiple uses is a big part of office design trends for 2024.

Lounge areas can be used for individuals who need to take calls or want to do work away from their desks. The same spaces can also use furniture that can be reconfigured for use by a small group. Remote workers who stop by for in-person meetings can use those same spaces to touchdown and get themselves organized.

Flexible Environments

This is similar to multi-purpose spaces but think of a breakroom having room and pods where people can have focused conversations. Make your office like a coffee shop.

Use architectural walls to create conference rooms and training spaces.

Equipped for Remote Workers

Video conferencing areas with tables made for the occasion are excellent ways to accommodate remote workers and in-person staff who need to attend virtual trainings and other important meetings.

Channeling Sound


Photo: AMQ 3F Acoustic Panels


Photo: Friant Interra Cubicle

Use acoustic panels, cubicles, and stylish bookcases to direct sound. Dont let important conversations distract others who need to focus.

Furnishings for Well-Being


Photo: Rouillard FX Chair


Photo: Workrite Astra 3 Task Light

Ergonomics is the study of fitting equipment to meet a persons well-being. Ergonomic chairs, height-adjustable desks, and task lighting create an environment that helps reduce physical stress and strain.

Blending Professional and Personal as Office Design Trends for 2024

Stepping into the corporate office doesnt mean you have shut the door on your personal life. And being employed means you might still have a home office.

Allow more blending to take place in the office, especially between workers of different generations.

Why?

Digging further into the Gartner studies, its stated that Gen Z has missed out on developing soft skills, such as negotiating, networking, speaking confidently in front of crowds, and developing the social stamina and attentiveness required to work long hours, in an in-person environment.”

Encouraging mentoring and working across age and cultural differences can benefit all.

Welcoming Nature

Already popular but still going strong into office design trends for 2024 are going green and biophilia.

Make sure you green up the office. Use plants throughout to provide a pleasant look and freshen the air. Place greenery on the walls by using the Nevins Bio Canvas Frame, a stunning selection of moss, bark, and stone panels with no maintenance required.”

Using Light


Photo: Friant Dash Revitalize Workstation

Remember to let in as much natural light as possible. Weve got plenty of it in Southern California and there are many ways to let it filter throughout an open office using bench seating and translucent privacy screens instead of solid walls.

Turn to Experience for Office Design Trends for 2024

Planning spaces for well-known corporations, meeting the needs of universities, and providing solutions for small businesses takes a knowledge of how work flows and what people need.

Turn to the team at 2010 Office Furniture to update your workspace following top office design trends for 2024.  Tap into more than a combined half-century of experience serving clientswho are among Southern Californias most distinguished companies.

Contact them and let them know your project needs.

Read Also: Office Trends that Keep Employees Engaged and Productive
Main Photo: Friant Dash Desk
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: AMQ, FriantMaverick, Rouillard, Scale 1:1 and Workrite

Equipping the Flexible Office for Maximum Productivity and Professional Experience

Flexible Office 9to5 Seating Aria Chairs

With COVID, flexible office work arrangements are more popular than ever. Digital technology has kept employees so connected for the past couple of decades that many need reminders to unplug during vacations and long weekends.

Going through the COVID-19 shutdown made remote working mandatory and now companies are reimagining how doing tasks in remote locations can remain compatible with working in a corporate office.

Making the office a destination spot is a strategy to create a positive office experience that will draw workers back is a trending strategy. But what are you bringing them back to?

Let’s look at flexible office spaces and their use as a competitive advantage.

Flexible Office for Deliberate Flexibility

Corporate offices today are adjusting their defined work areas. It’s not just a matter of placing the names of departments on different doors like accounting, marketing, or production. Instead, they’re doing what CBRE in their 30,000 square foot El Segundo office is doing: designing spaces as lounges, single-person work pods, and equipping outdoor areas with wi-fi, comfortable seating, and shade umbrellas.

In 2018, community design firm Stantec unveiled a re-design of its 60,000-square foot space in Irvine. It’s a diverse company of scientists, architects, and project managers. They have “Four non-traditional collaborative spaces take the shape of breakout rooms, lounges, and hubs.”

A training room has space for 50 people and a retractable wall that can separate the room into two if needed.

Personal interaction is planned and designed into the floor plan with a collaboration café that’s “purposefully located where office circulation paths meet to foster quick planning sessions and conversations.”

A central lounge with reclaimed barn wood paneling, a coffee bar, computer stations, television screens, and contemporary lounge furnishings, serves as the flexible office’s central meeting place and social focal point.


Photo: ERG International Tivoli Lounge

Flexible Office Productivity

Planning office spaces for flexibility that leads to greater productivity is important because different people have different ways in which they work best. Just like learning. Some people learn better with a hands-on approach while others may be more visual or more auditory.

Some work best from home and 2010 Office Furniture understands this so we equip the remote workers, too, with work-from-home flexible office suites and accessories.

Creating a flexible office space that allows your team to feel comfortable respects their individual needs while bringing them together in a unified mission of meeting corporate goals.


Photo: SitOnIt Seating Glove Chairs

Flexible office spaces let employees work in areas that suit them best.

Physical Flexibility

There’s another type of office flexibility that’s important for a person’s overall wellness. Sitting for long periods of time strains the elbows, wrists, knees, and lower back. If the height of a monitor or desk isn’t right then posture is off and sitting for long stretches is a gradual strain on the entire body.

Promote physical flexibility with quality ergonomic chairs and height-adjustable desks.


Photo: DeskMakers Hover Workstations

Common Needs

A headline from an agency recruiting remote workers in Los Angeles proclaimed on its website, Productivity doesn’t need an office.

That’s not 100% accurate.


Photo: DARRAN Chameleon Workspace

Everyone has different needs for a flexible office. Some people work best at one specific workstation with occasional meetings or chats in lounge areas.


Photo: OFS Tangent Lounge

Others prefer remote work over full-time in-office work.

However, there are common needs that everyone has despite personal preferences:

  • Social interactions
  • Natural lighting
  • Pleasing environment

Even the most ardent remote worker is best served with in-person meetings and not just all-virtual gatherings, all the time. We like interacting with others or we begin to feel alone, even if we’re digitally connected.

We have an abundant amount of sunshine in Southern California, so make sure your team has plenty of light filtering in. Sunshine boosts morale in the office and helps people maintain a circadian rhythm so they sleep well at night.

Colors matter, too. You don’t need bold, splashy colors in every room, but you also don’t want dull and drab. Plenty of cubicle solutions use attractive fabrics and come in easy-to-configure arrangements so you can plan for both privacy and personal conversations.

The 2010 Office Inspiration page gives options that show you how today’s flexible office can make the best use of color and space to reflect your brand and show your employees that you have their needs in mind.

Plan and design a space for minimalists or create a resimercial space that reflects both personal lives and professional pursuits.


Photo: Allermuir Mozaik Lounge Seating

The good news is you don’t have to sacrifice quality when designing a flexible office space. An array of durable options exists to help you get the most from your workspaces so your team is as productive as possible.

Find Flexible Office Solutions that Work Best

Turn to 2010 Office as your solution for space planning and office furnishings that help you create the modern flexible office. The team has more than 50 years of experience working with clients who rank among Southern California’s most distinguished corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Contact them with your potential needs.

Read Also: Your Guide to Office Feng Shui for the Best Office Environment
Main Photo: 9to5 Seating Aria Chairs
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: 9to5 Seating, Allermuir, DARRAN, DeskMakers, ERG International, OFS & SitOnIt Seating