Let’s keep it real. It’s hard to work on your tasks in a noisy environment.
Thankfully, we’re here to help you reduce and eliminate unnecessary noise with this office soundproofing guide.
THE BEST PART: No state-of-the-art technology needed!
After following these tips and soundproofing solutions, your work environment should be quiet, noise-free, and ready to go!
How to Soundproof an Office Space
Soundproofing Office Cubicles
Step 1: Cover All the Gaps and Passages
One of the first steps to control office noise is to soundproof your office cubicles and block the open air space in your work area.
Using acoustic sealant should do the trick because it can cover tiny holes and cracks surrounding your windows, walls, and main office door.
A more budget-friendly option is to surround these gaps with foam or thick pieces of crumpled paper. These are more than enough to ensure effective sound absorption.
Step 2: Work on Soundproofing Your Office Floor
This step employs a “work from the ground up” approach because you need to focus on the floors.
Vinyl tiles are the GOLD STANDARDS of office soundproofing materials, so try convincing your boss and co-employees to add these tiles for a more peaceful work environment.
Rugs, mats, and carpets are cost-effective alternatives for sound absorption, thanks to their high density.
Step 3: Fix Those Wall Problems ASAP!
If you want LESS NOISE and MORE PRODUCTIVITY for you and your fellow workers, get your walls checked up!
Whether you intend to use acoustic panels, wall hangings, or extra layers of drywall, do whatever you can to soundproof your walls.
We suggest asking help from experts because they’ll give you the best tips and recommended products.
Conference Room Soundproofing
Step 1: Measure the Area Dimensions
You need to have a knowledgeable grasp of your workplace or office environment. One of the BEST ways to do that is by getting the correct measurements of your room dimensions.
You need to do this step correctly to accomplish the other steps as efficiently as possible.
Step 2: Check the Sound Transmission Class (STC Rating)
Basically, the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating measures the amount of noise a medium can block.
Be sure to get the proper STC ratings of the walls, ceilings, and windows to determine which medium sound is traveling the most.
Here are some tools you will need to get accurate results.
- Sound transmitter
Step 3: Apply Soundproofing Materials
Last but not least, it’s time to incorporate office soundproofing materials (more on those below).
Remember that ALL conference rooms and offices have different floor plans and locations, so one solution might be more effective than the other, and vice versa.
One thing’s for sure, though. Products that possess a high Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating should be on your bucket list.
A good range would be 0.5-0.9 because products with these numbers can block 50% to 90% of the sound that they absorb.
Using Office Sound Absorbing Panels
Are you looking for an effective tool for noise absorption purposes? Look no further by taking a look at these sound-absorbing panels.
Sound-absorbing panels have useful functions like:
- Limits outside noise
- Improves speech
- Reduces and prevents wall reverberation
Indeed, you can achieve proper communication with your team of workers if you put away distractions and block off outside noise.
For the best results, put these on the holes and gaps across your office windows to avoid ANY NOISE from penetrating the area.
Reducing Outside Noise and Traffic Noise
Imagine trying to present a report to your team or employees, only to be greeted with outside noise distractions like beeping cars or loud music in the other room.
These might start as ambient noise, but once they start adding up, you might lose your sanity from putting up with these noises EVERY DAY!
Fortunately, we’ve got some examples of methods to keep your work space conducive despite the outside noise that is beyond your control.
Window inserts are a cost-effective treatment for honking cars and loudspeakers.
Most of the time, glass inserts are placed in the window frame, located about 5 inches in front of the window’s interior face.
If you want top-tier treatment against sound waves, go for laminated glass!
It equals to 2 layers of glass, making it an effective tool against sound vibrations and other forms of noise.
Besides window inserts, you can also try out acoustic curtains. These curtains help improve the overall acoustics by providing sound reduction abilities.
These sound-proof curtains are incredibly thick, so dampening the noise will not be a problem.
If you’re working at your home office, these curtains are useful for online meetings made possible by video conferencing technology (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc.).
Quiet Appliances to Consider
White Noise Machine
Starting to feel stressed with SO MANY requirements on your plate? Why not take a breather with a white noise machine?
A white noise machine does NOT eliminate noise, BUT it masks it and gives you peaceful and relaxing sounds such as:
- Chirping birds
- Light raindrops
- Waves across the seashore
Indeed, you will never run out of ASMR moments. Think of these sound effects as Lo-fi music for nature lovers.
Quiet Desk Fans
Is it starting to get Hot in Here, as Nelly would say?
You’re going to need office fans to keep yourself cool and comfortable while logging in the hours at the office.
However, make sure to get QUIET desk fans to not lose focus in the middle of your assignments.
Quiet Paper Shredders
The best offices are those that are quiet and tidy! You would not want your office layout to be messed up by huge piles of paper.
This is where quiet paper shredders come in. Not only do these devices eliminate confidential office information, but they also preserve the peace and ambiance of both your main and home office.
Consider it a WIN-WIN because all other employees will still get to work peacefully.
Soundproofing for Home Offices
Don’t worry, work-from-home people! We did not forget about your home office setup.
The NO COMMUTE advantage is definitely there, but working in your home office does not spare you from noisy neighbors and annoying sounds such as crying and shouting from your kids.
Here are some tips, ways, and examples of reducing the noise from entering your home work space.
Solid Core Door
A solid core door is an effective tool for eliminating noise in your home office, thanks to its thickness and high density.
Solid core doors use either expensive hardwood or the cheaper Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).
It doesn’t matter whether your door is old or new. The silicone and aluminum-based sweeps fill the tiny gaps and holes to prevent the passage of air and sound waves.
Having multiple layers of drywall is perfect for sound absorption or sound masking purposes. The second layer acts as a powerful wall insulation barrier thanks to its 1/2-inch thickness.
An acoustic panels’ surface effectively absorbs office noise from walls and cubicles. Once the sound absorption starts to add up, loud and booming noises will be the LEAST OF YOUR CONCERNS!
You can always use wall hangings like tapestries, paintings, and even curtains and blankets to block out the noise.
They even become useful home decors due to their multifunctionality!
As mentioned, curtains (especially acoustic ones) are perfect for keeping sounds low. As a bonus, these also protect your privacy because NO ONE can peek from their window.
You better add rugs to your floor plans. Most of them are made up of foam and rubber, two components that do an excellent job absorbing excessive noise.
Ceiling tiles are useful for those working on the ground floor or apartments. They absorb footsteps or stomps coming from upstairs so that you hardly hear anything from your home office.
Why Should You Soundproof Your Office Space?
Ask yourself these questions.
- Would I want to get work done in a noisy office environment?
- Will I accomplish this week’s deliverables while competing with unnecessary distractions?
Soundproofing an office does not only keep your work space quiet. Still don’t believe us? Take a look at all these benefits:
- Improved productivity
- Better mental well-being and state of mind due to the absence of unwanted noise
- Better work output
Still unsure with what type of method you should apply? Here are the three different types of soundproofing for easier reference:
- Noise reduction: blocks the passage of sound waves so that it doesn’t enter the room (car honks, police sirens, etc.)
- Sound absorption: a MORE sophisticated sound management method that prevents human speech and confidential secrets from spreading across the workspace
- Sound masking: inserts more engineered background noise to drown out louder noise and distractions from human conversations
You can’t go wrong with an onsite or home office that’s peaceful and organized, so we hope you consider giving it a major overhaul.
Your employees and other neighboring people will thank you for it.
Hopefully, each solution gave you a better idea of how to soundproof any office setup.
As we said, it does not take modern technology because these user-friendly and affordable tools should help you work peacefully and productively!
July 1, 2021 – added changelog