The Book of Acoustics

5.0 Benefits of acoustic design

5.3 Focus & Productivity

I n most modern workspaces the ability to focus is critical to productivity. Studies show that when people become distracted it can take up to 25 minutes to regain concentration.

Everything from the sound of ringing phone and nearby conversations to closing doors and the buzz of appliances can affect peoples’ ability to concentrate and perform. Long-term exposure to distracting noises have consequences that not only affect production and learning outcomes, but also the quality of social interactions and the degree to which inhabitants feel satisfied and comfortable in their environment.

On the other hand, acoustic environments designed to support focus and productivity have a clearly positive impact. For example, studies show that an improvement of acoustic conditions in office environments yielded the following results:
» 48% improvement of workers’ ability to focus on tasks
» 51% decrease of conversational distractions
» 10% improvement of error-rates
» 27% decrease of office-related stress symptoms

A well designed acoustic environment leads to:

  • Better decision making
  • Fewer work errors
  • Improved behaviour and interactions
  • Greater willingness to engage with others
  • Better workplace satisfaction
  • Greater attraction and retention of talent

The Book of Acoustics

This is a handbook for architects and interior designers who want to create acoustically beautiful spaces that make people feel happier, healthier and more productive.