In a busy call center with lots of people sharing workstations in close proximity, creating a quiet atmosphere is out of the question. However, there are a number of ways to effectively address noise and make the volume level tolerable. Office design layout is one part of the puzzle. For example, large open spaces with tiled floors tend to control noise poorly and should be avoided. Office cubicle design is another aspect of the overall noise/privacy picture. The materials used to form the core of the panels generally determine the NRC and STC rating of each product.
The performance of a building’s air handling system or other constantly running equipment can also be a major factor in overall acoustic comfort. A moving part that isn’t well lubricated can cause annoying squeaking or rattling that drives workers slowly mad. Of course, for situations where strategically generated white noise can increase the level of privacy, many companies install sound masking technology. With 70% of office employees claiming that they could be more productive in a less noisy work environment, remodeling for greater acoustic tranquility might be a “sound” investment indeed.