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How Noise Impacts Employee Wellbeing

How Noise Impacts Employee Wellbeing

Considering that employee wellbeing has become a significant part of management requirements, more businesses are offering flexible working, employee incentives, and other wellbeing-focused support. However, with the evolution of open plan office space, more people are suffering due to excessive noise in the workplace. Find out how it may be impacting your workforce and what you can do to reduce the impact of excessive noise in the workplace.

Different Personality Types

Understanding your employee’s personalities is an essential part of understanding how noise impacts them. For example, someone who is outgoing and extroverted by nature will be able to tolerate higher levels of noise and frequent interruptions and interactions. Someone who has a more introverted personality will struggle with loud, open workspaces and will typically want to find somewhere quiet and calm to work.


Being interrupted is one of the biggest problems in noisy office spaces, but it’s not the deliberate interruptions that seem to cause the most stress. Many people find the conversations of others the most distracting as well as sudden noises and phones ringing. When you stop and consider the number of interruptions that will occur during a typical day in an open-plan space, then it becomes obvious that productivity will not be at its optimum levels.

Noise Can Be Tiring

When your employees spend all day in a noisy environment, they will be working hard to mitigate the noise levels in the room. This causes stress and can even have an impact on their physical health as they try to battle against the distractions. Because they are working harder and trying to block out the sounds, they are also expending more energy and forcing their bodies into negatively dealing with stress. Ultimately, the effect of all this effort is that people will be more tired and less able to perform at their best.


Any increase of stress in our lives has a huge impact on the way we feel about the world and our motivation to be part of it. Many workplaces have found that when noise levels are high, employee motivation is low and this then impacts a manager’s the ability to get the best work out of people, directly impacting on the quality you can offer your clients. A lack of motivation can also have an impact on sickness levels and employee turnover – both of which are not good for the future of your company.

How to Reduce Noise in the Workplace

While it may sound like a negative situation, there are some simple things that you can implement to help reduce noise levels and improve employee wellbeing.

Work with a Specialist

According to specialist acoustic consultants Nova Acoustics, hiring a professional team can ensure that the noise levels are accurately measured and that there is optimal implementation of sound proofing solutions.

Install Acoustic Wall Panels

Acoustic wall panels come in all shapes and sizes and work to absorb the noise that travels around the office so that there is less reverberation causing problems for your team. The number you install depends on the level of noise cancellation you want to achieve.

Provide Freestanding Soundproof Partitions

Similar to wall panels, soundproof partitions allow people to benefit from an open-plan office but creates a quieter space to work in. You can install these partitions in pod form or partition the space into grouped areas for teams to work together.

Create an Office Charter

Get your team involved and work together to come up with your own office etiquette. Not only will this help to reduce noise, but it gives you team a sense of ownership over their wellbeing and will empower them to follow it once an agreement has been reached.

Establish a Communal Area

Ensuring that there is a space for people to go to have meals, conversations, and team meetings will also reduce noise levels. Break out areas are vital and will help you to improve employee wellbeing. By making small changes and educating your team on the impact of noise, you will not only see an improvement in wellbeing, but your productivity levels will also increase, helping you to get the most and the best from everyone in your team.

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by Rebecca Jones // Contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.