If you have ever worked in a cubicle environment with everyone on the phone all day long, then you can relate to this dilemma. This past May, The SearchLogix Group made a move into our new office in the historic downtown vicinity of Kennesaw, GA. Along with the beautiful hardwood floors and 10' ft. ceilings, came acoustical problems. Overheard telephone conversations, excessive paper shuffling and general routine duties made our working environment challenging.
After much research, we discovered that there are basically three stages of noise reduction you can choose from, also known as the ABC's of noise reduction:
A= Absorption- which can be baffles, banners, carpeting and/or area rugs on the floor
B= Blocking- which can be utilized with cubicle walls
C= Covering- which is a noise reduction "white noise" system installed with small speakers in the ceiling or above the ceiling tiles
Since we were already equipped with state of the art cubicle stations that blocked 10-15% of our noise, our first step was purchasing four 4' ft baffles, which were installed above our cubicle walls as well as area rugs in each work station. This reduced our noise level by another 10-15%. The final stage was finding the appropriate "covering system" for our office. Depending on the square footage of your work area and the employee count determines on the system you will need. We chose the VoiceArrest System with QT (Quiet Technology) from SpeechPrivacy Systems (http://www.allhottips.com)
This system has 4 channels that can be set to reduce noise of any decibel level. Starting at the lowest level of 1= 36 decibels and going to the highest level of 4=45 decibels. The VoiceArrest System is a non-intrusive system that filtrates through the office space and sounds like an HVAC system running in the background. Thus, bringing our noise reduction level up another 40-50%.
Overall, the accumulative noise reduction we have achieved is approximately 70% less than before, creating a more pleasant and productive working environment at The SearchLogix Group.
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