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

Stylish Noise Reducing Office Furniture Trends for 2024

Noise Reducing Office Furniture OFS Intermix Table

Reduce office noise and boost employee engagement by incorporating noise reducing office furniture at the workplace.

Thats not an easy task because were immersed in noise.

During commutes, listening to an audiobook or the radio in your car is pleasant but there’s still noise. Think of the noises that you hear in your backyard. Or how about parking near your office, whether its in a downtown Los Angeles high-rise or an office near John Wayne Airport?

When you get into the office and settle at your desk, you wont endure car horns or neighbors blasting music during backyard barbeques but youll have other distractions.

Take a look at this:

Even moderate noise in an office can result in high levels of stress and lower task motivation, according to a 2021 study from Cornell University:

Workers in the noisy office experienced significantly higher levels of stress, made 40 percent fewer attempts to solve an unsolvable puzzle, and made only half as many ergonomic adjustments to their workstations as did their colleagues in quiet offices.”

Does that mean you have to put up solid walls?

No. Get fashionable.

You can use noise reducing office furniture that help with office acoustics with stylish designs that blend with your existing decor using some of the latest new fabrics.

Channeling and reducing sound helps make the office a desirable place for your employees.

Heres a fabric that keeps the office looking stylish and absorbs noise: PET Felt.

What is PET Felt?

When you take the materials used to make plastic bottles and reuse it as fabrics — thats Polyethylene Terephthalate, better known as PET Felt.

PET is especially well-suited for use in design-led acoustics since its lightweight, dense, durable, and rigid: all properties that make it ideal for acoustic design. Add to that it achieves a Class O fire rating, as noted by Sound Zero, an acoustic sound design firm in the U.K.

Lets see a specific use of this recycled material.

Lamps with PET Felt

Reducing or channeling office noise doesnt mean putting up barriers. Help can come from unexpected places using noise reducing office furniture with the right materials.

Like PET felt on office lamps.

Now, would you have thought an office lamp could absorb sound? Dutch designers did and showcased their products on Dezeen.com.

The lamps hang nicely above tables with a relatively low profile and act almost like an upside-down umbrella. They dont call attention to themselves but blend in nicely with the surroundings.

Noise Reducing Office Furniture Absorb and Deflect Those Noises

Now lets look at other ways to reduce noise in the office with accompanying noise reducing office furniture.


Photo: OFS Intermix Conference Table

Set up a welcoming type of conference room. Click on the 2010 Office Inspiration page and browse a modern conference room space. It doesnt have to be completely enclosed. Imagine a space with one wall as a whiteboard, another wall being a clear architectural wall, and a monitor attached to a wall with a doorless opening to walk in and out of freely.


Photo: Snowsound Clasp Fiber Room Divider

Many lounge seating arrangements are attractive, comfortable, and are designed to keep conversations focused around a table so the noise doesn’t drift away. In fact they make great noise reducing office furniture because of the padding and fabric that they’re usually made from.


Photo: Arcadia Contract TOOtheLOUNGE Seating

Look at the Arcadia TOOtheLOUNGE Seating with practical configurations and colorful appearances to brighten any office environment. It can be an individual “oasis” or set up to accommodate a few people. Make it as closed or as open as you want.


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas Frame

Green office panels help you control the acoustics while adding a touch of nature to your surroundings. The Nevins Bio Canvas Frame has a lightweight frame and uses bark, moss, and stone panels. No maintenance is required.

Bookcases are another way to absorb and deflect sounds and make great noise reducing office furniture. What do you put on them? Decorative pieces. Plants. Books. Trophies from the office softball team. Get creative.

You’ve got plenty of options to choose from. Look for an eye-catching design like the OFS Hitch Shelf and Storage. It’s a modular system to showcase your personality.


Photo: OFS Rowens Shelf and Credenza

The OFS Rowen Shelf and Credenza has a library feel while the DARRAN Chameleon Storage has a more boxy style.


Photo: DARRAN Chameleon Storage

Dont forget green plants. Wider leaves deflect sound waves and all types of plants purify the air. Plus, theyre visually refreshing. Good Housekeeping compiled a listing of 15 plants including the spider plant and birds nest fern.

These ideas are relatively easy to implement and we didnt even include cubicles or architectural walls.  But all these are good options for noice reducing office furniture.

Office Space Planning and Design for Noise Reducing Office Furniture

Absorbing sound waves are one part of overall office planning.

What do you feel your greatest needs are? Ask the team at 2010 Office Furniture and theyll bring more than 50 years of experience into your space planning and furniture sourcing solutions.

2010 Offices clients are Southern Californias most distinguished corporations, universities, and small businesses.

Contact them with your potential project needs and when you’re ready to include noise reducing office furniture into your office space.

Read Also: Choosing the Best Office Dividers and Filing Systems
Main Photo: OFS Intermix Conference Table
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia Contract, DARRAN, Nevins, OFS and Snowsound

Designing for Comfort and Employee Well-Being with the Resimercial Office Trend

Resimercial Office Trend HON Westhill Lounge

Lines between our personal and professional lives have blurred with instant communication and cloud storage. Kids and colleagues can get in touch as needed. There are boundaries, of course. But the 2020 stay-at-home orders showed that many companies found a way to keep operating with nearly all of their employees at home.  Enter the Resimercial office trend.

Now that the focus is once again on the corporate setting, the Resimercial office trend is more popular than ever.

Create an inviting office where home-style comforts are mixed with commercial durability. The benefits of resimercial design include increased comfort with a boost in productivity.


Photo: Snowsound Perline Acoustic Panel

Why can’t a corporate office have the needed functionality plus personality?

This type of office bridges the settings of home and work—while being flexible enough to incorporate the best of both residential and commercial.

A well-planned resimercial office space following the resimercial office trend will have the furnishings that are needed with intangible elements that can make your office a welcome destination.  The addition of biophilic design (bringing elements of nature indoors) also is a huge benefits as it helps improve overall office wellbeing and positivity.

Resimercial Office Trend: Attitude and Atmosphere

Use as many large windows as possible to get rid of stuffy feelings inside. Southern California has a diverse landscape of beaches and mountains, plenty of sunshine, and some of the best weather in the U.S.

Office settings that incorporate natural elements create a pleasant atmosphere—especially when maximizing natural light and using colors that represent the surrounding environment.

Offices in Pasadena or Monrovia can use as much window space possible to capture the red and purple hues of the afternoon sun on the San Gabriel Mountains.

In Playa Vista or Culver City, an office can make use of ocean scenes and equip an outdoor space to experience the ocean breezes.

Use green on your walls strategically with the Nevins Bio Canvas Frame. Bark, moss, and stone panels are tastefully arranged in this no-maintenance option.

These touches make an office personable while getting rid of a sterile feeling.

Work is demanding, but these familiar connections can reduce stress and show employees that they don’t have to be separated from the soothing elements of the world.

Resimercial Office Trend: Furnishings and Fabrics

Office spaces that are planned effectively have a clear purpose. Visit 2010 Office Furniture’s resimercial office trend page to stir your own creativity.

Don’t wall people off from each other. Use furnishings that allow for a flow of open interaction yet provide private spaces. Placement, look, and feel are factors that the team at 2010 Office Furniture considers when assisting clients in planning their spaces.


Photo: Maverick Apex Desk Workstations

You’ve got many choices ranging from the inventive DARRAN Chameleon Workspace to the Maverick Apex Open Plan Desking and the Global Zira Desking Workstation.


Photo: Darran Chameleon Workspace

Each solution is unique with finishes that look pleasant, has comfortable seating, and can be incorporated into a soft, office design.

In a home office, you should have a dedicated workspace, but you’re free to move around and work on the sofa or at the kitchen table. Design that same freedom into your office setting.

Make your breakroom personally stylish using items like the Arcadia Betwixt Table.


Photo: Arcadia Betwixt Table

Consider the DARRAN Honey Lounge Seating. It’s a seating solution that incorporates nature, provides ergonomic comfort, and has been proven to help reduce stress, bolster productivity and enhance well-being.


Photo: Darran Honey Lounge

Storage space is important in both the residential and commercial worlds. Step away from gray metal with the OFS Hitch Shelf and Storage, a unique, modular storage system available in a range of wood veneer finishes.

Resimercial design has a range of ergonomic benefits when quality furnishings are used.

Expect durability. Commercial grade furniture is meant for heavy use, several hours a day, while a sofa in your home is meant for much lighter use. You can still have comfort with quality seating and workspaces.

People and Productivity

The Resimercial office trend isn’t just about furnishings. It’s about letting your employees work in comfort while maintaining high levels of productivity.

Promote well-being.

Quality office chairs are a good place to begin.

The OFS Pret Chair is the type of ergonomic seating solution that’s pleasant to look at while supporting an individual’s body weight and shape.


Photo: HON Solve Chair

Lighting matters, too. Forget big and bulky lamps. Sleek is in for corporate settings and home offices. The Workrite Fundamentals 2 Desktop Light focuses light as needed without getting in the way. It’s one of many ergonomic lighting options.

Channeling sound is another way to make the office pleasant and comfortable. Use acoustic panels of all shapes and colors to deflect and absorb potentially distracting conversations and clacking keyboards.


Photo: Nevins Bio Canvas Panels

As you make the office comfortable, employees will find it a desirable setting to work in. It could become their home away from home.

Rely on 2010 Office Furniture for Resimercial Office Trend

The team at 2010 Office Furniture has more than 50 years of combined experience working with clientele that are among Southern California’s most notable corporations, universities, and other not-for-profits, and small businesses in all industries.

Contact them with your office needs and questions.

Read Also: 6 Reasons to Use a Resimercial Design for Your Office
Main Photo: HON Westhill Lounge
Resources & Special Thanks to Respective Product Manufacturers: Arcadia, Darran, HON, Maverick, Nevins & Snowsound