More and more companies are outsourcing their customer service to larger telecommunications firms and VoIP companies, and these in turn are searching for better ways to maintain employee morale and efficiency in an increasingly challenging field. When employees are exposed to excessive noise, they can’t concentrate, and when they are on the phone, excessive noise can interfere with hearing the person on the other end of the line exacerbating frustrations for worker and customer. When language barriers are involved, it is even more difficult, and outside distractions take an even higher toll on productivity and satisfaction.
Controlling the sound in your office space can mean taking a good hard look at acoustical performance of every surface including walls, flooring, ceiling, and furnishings. The Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) measures how much sound a particular material can absorb in mid-range frequencies. The Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of a product rates its ability to block sound transmission. In both systems, the higher the number the better it proofs against sound. The actual effectiveness of a panel in real life conditions may be much lower, thanks to other factors such as as how your telemarketing cubicles are arranged, and how high the cubicle walls are.
Deciding whether you want to absorb sound or merely block it is something to discuss with your space planner, in order to come up with the best solution. For extremely large offices, absorbing sound may be the best way to prevent each cubicle from adding to the cacophony – while in offices where the majority of noise comes from a particular quarter, sound blocking may be more cost effective.
When planning your office space, consider having an acoustical expert come in, particularly if you are in a competitive telemarketing field that requires a high level of professionalism. Also plan on shelling out for high end phone systems, headgear and telecom providers to ensure the best quality sound so what’s coming in is crystal clear while you are trying to muffle the existing in office sound or at least keep it to a dull roar.