Office Acoustics

Furniture Acoustics: Understanding and Taking Action



Many offices and homes have noisy rooms, especially startups with open floorplans and concrete walls. The more furniture (sofas, big soft chairs, etc) the better. When it comes to carpet – the bigger and the heavier, the better. Take a room with bare walls, “hard” furniture and no carpeting. With nothing to absorb the sound, music, videos, and voices may lack definition, and essentially turn to mush as sound waves bounce off the walls, floor and ceiling repeatedly. Introducing carpeting, plush furniture and some strategically placed absorptive panels into the room will go a long way toward taming acoustics in a room. Understanding office acoustics is imperative when professionalism is concerned. 

Now there is another end of the spectrum which is a “dead” room – one with too much carpeting, heavy drapes and overstuffed furniture, all of which absorb sound to the point where music and movies would seem sterile and, well…dead.

Why are they important?

According to a recent white paper titled Building in Sound, an office building’s acoustics can impact employees’ health, learning capabilities and productivity. Add that to the fact that more than 48 million Americans are already hearing impaired and it becomes easy to see why acoustics should be kept in mind when selecting office furniture.

Understandably, all office buildings are not created equally. For that reason, the office furniture that may improve the acoustics in one area may not help in another. It’s best to speak with an expert like US when trying to find answers to these types of questions. Carolina Office Xchange is your local and nationwide source for complete office furnishings. Feel free to reach out to us with questions concerning office acoustics. 

Making it work for you:

Like the exposed work spaces and cafeteria-style desks famously embraced by Facebook and Zappos – office furniture selections showcase a company’s image, but can also support how it needs to function as far as office acoustics are concerned. Make sure the furniture you choose works best for the space, and the function of the space. If you are a company that has a wide-open floor plan then acoustics may not play as big a part, then if your company was smaller and more personal. You may want offices that hold voices, keeps conversations personal, and information concealed. On the other hand, you may want everything heard, nothing concealed, and all sounds to work in harmony. Whatever you decide is right for you, we can help you make that office space become a reality.

In Conclusion:

Picking the right office furniture for the outcome you are looking for starts with, knowing the size of the space, how you wish to use the space, and how you want the space to carry sound. These are things to consider if you want an office space that works efficiently. Comfort matters to employees, customers, and employers from what we have researched, and it should matter to you as well. Acoustics play a huge part in that comfort, so getting it right the first time will make for less changes down the road. Come in and see us, give us a call, or email us if you have questions. We’ll be happy to help.