Employees have difficulty working productively in noisy environments, since stress levels increase and concentration is lowered. There are many design tricks architects can employ to deal with poor acoustics. Using the correct materials in the correct location is key to achieving the proper level of sound absorption. For example, ceiling tiles should generally be applied at a low ceiling height. If the ceiling is very high, then other methods need to be applied, such as lining the walls with fabric banners or acoustical wall panels to avoid the sound bouncing off of drywall or other non-absorbent materials. To keep voices from traveling too far, it is useful to places highly-absorbent materials at mouth level throughout the office. Another effective technique in limiting a noisy environment is to create a monotone background sound known as white noise. This can be achieved in a variety of ways, such as through the strategic placement of fans and air conditioners, the use of water fountains or by installing a sound masking audio system.
There are a few whiteboard and blackboard paints on the market that office designers are favouring because you can make your writing space as big or as small as you like. It isnt uncommon for entire walls to be painted so that employees have as much room as they like to list ideas or write out memos. The only hitch with this great office design trend is that it can be highly expensive. This has led to the increased popularity in the traditional blackboard (not painted, just your standard blackboard mounted onto the wall). Many designers believe that blackboards are more aesthetically pleasing then whiteboards. As blackboards can be hard to find these days, they are a little on the expensive side, but nowhere near the cost of the paint equivalent.
2. Collaboration Spaces Say goodbye to your private office (unless youre the boss, of course) because open plan offices are becoming increasingly popular. Companies are trying to make the best use of space possible, and office designers have found that giving everyone their own private area is just not the way to do this. An open plan office design also makes it possible for more employees to fit into the space, allowing for expansion. Partitions are also getting lower, as office designers have found that a space will look much bigger if people have a panoramic view. Some designers advise that a panoramic view whilst seated is preferable, whilst others maintain that if the office can be viewed panoramic whilst standing that this is fine.
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