Most offices start out as well planned professional environments, but over the years, additional office furniture and equipment is added as more staff are taken on and the business requirements change from that which was originally envisaged. As a result the office looks a little untidy and the general noise level starst to increase, again over what was originally anticipated.
But instead of just allowing this natural progression to take place you should consider getting an office furniture professional in to have a look at your environment to see if there are any changes which can be made.
Quite often relatively small changes can have a major effect on the office.
If you have a number of staff in a relatively small area, with plenty of hard surfaces, then background noise is going to become a big problem, and even bigger if your workspace is mainly open plan.
There are many professional ( and some quite expensive) ways to deal with noisy offices, and these methods have been addressed in other articles, but here we are dealing with just generally improving the workspace with a few dividing office screens.
Firstly fabric dividing office screens are soft furnishings and will absorb noise to a degree, and generally soften the harshness in any office. Also giving your staff perceived privacy by surrounding their desk space with a low fabric screen, will really improve their attitude toward the noise in the office.
Psychologically as they cannot see other members of staff, or more importantly cannot see them speaking, then they firstly find it more difficult to listen to other conversations, and secondly feel that others cannot hear what they are saying.
The simple act of adding some desk screens to the workstations have given the staff the feeling that they cannot be overheard.
This obviously works in offices where there are quite a few staff where there is a general level of background noise. In a small office with just a handful of people, one single voice would stand out too much, for the desk screen effect to make any difference.
Also installing floor standing screens around noisy areas such as printers and faxes, coffee machines and reception areas, can really make a difference, and can make the office space seem larger, in the same way as a garden feels larger if it is broken down into smaller areas, which cannot all be seen at once.
Whatever office screens you choose, whether they are expensive framed items with a core of sound deadening foam, or just a pinnable board covered with some fabric, you will appreciate the difference that they can make, especially if the layout has been professionally planned.
And the last piece of advice is that whatever you decide to do, after the initial installation just live with it for a few weeks before making up your mind.
Often the initial shock of such a radical change has you reaching for the telephone to ask the office furniture dealer that th eoffice screens be removed, but after a few weeks you will have become accustomed to the change, and will start to appreciate the benefits that this change has brought about.
After a few months you will wonder why you hadn’t done this a long time ago