Over a decade ago, research was carried out into the effects of noise on learning. 50 London schools were assessed, and their noise levels were compared with their pupils’ test results. There was a direct correlation: the noisier the school, the poorer the results.
In the decade since, a generation of new schools has been built with sound dampening suspended ceilings and walls. So now more pupils have the chance to achieve better results without the building getting in the way.
But what if you’re in an older school? What are the noise problems associated with older schools, and is there a solution that doesn’t involve demolishing and rebuilding to modern standards?
Fighting reverberation and background noise
Reverberation is, effectively, echo. In classrooms it’s a problem that forces the teacher to talk louder, but as they do so their voice echoes even more. The result is a vicious circle that makes hearing more difficult, especially for younger children. The solution lies in reducing the reverb caused by hard surfaces like glass, metal and plaster.
Background noise is any noise that isn’t the prime signal within a classroom (ie the teacher’s voice). It could be anything from the general classroom hubbub to the class next door, the sound of the traffic outside or the hum of the IT equipment. The greater the level of background noise, the greater the potential levels of stress, frustration and mishearing.
How suspended ceilings help
All suspended ceiling tiles have sound absorbing and attenuating properties. They reduce the ‘echoeyness’ within a room, prevent sound escaping, and limiting the level of noise from elsewhere.
Their capabilities can help any classroom become a more conducive environment for learning. They become quieter, less fractious places, which can benefit behaviour as well as academic progress. Teachers don’t have to shout to be heard. And children don’t have to try and filter extraneous noise before they can start learning.
Source: Judge Suspended Ceilings
When considering office partitioning, there are many different types of office partitions to choose from. Each have different qualities and uses depending on the type of office and business that you operate within, and are all have their own individual benefits.
Here are a selection of some of the more popular types of office partitions provided by Barrs Court Construction.
If your office requires spaces for high levels of focus, these partitions are a sensible option. These partitions offer lot's of privacy and can create a greater sense of focus as a result of the walls. Solid partitions are customisable, quick to install, ideal if you are looking to minimise interruption and distraction in the work area.
Glass office partitions, like solid partitions are still able to offer a certain level of privacy with blinds, these partitions are generally more discreet, with an aim to provide privacy, but without causing employees to feel cut off or excluded. These partitions are quick to install and are customisable with glass manifestations so you can add your corporate colours or logo to show off your corporate brand.
Demountable partitions give you the advantage of ultra-fast removal and installation times.
These types of partitions ensure maximum flexibility for your business, they are easily interchangeable and help your business create a more flexible option for an office floor space that is constantly evolving and growing.
Noise-minimising acoustic partitions come in a variety of designs including double glazed, single glazed and solid office partitions. Double glazed acoustic doors will provide better office soundproofing, while a solid partition will generally be more soundproof than a glass office partition. You can determine which acoustic partitions you need by the level of soundproofing you require.
If you would like to discuss the options for office partitions for your business in more detail then feel free to contact us for a more details on how we can help your business create a more suitable working environment, we are based in Bristol and work throughout the UK.
With employees working longer and feeling less appreciated by their superiors it is no surprise that levels of productivity in the work place have subsequently reduced.
Having a break out area for your employees has been proven to boost productivity, it allows them to take their breaks in an area that is designed to stimulate relaxation and offer a place to relax for a while, connect with fellow colleagues and re-charge those batteries for the remainder of the working day.
So how can you design your break out area to offer a relaxing place for your employees that will boost their productivity?
Getting the colour scheme right in your break area is more important than you may initially think. Choosing colours that offer a light, relaxing atmosphere is important when trying to encourage a rise in productivity levels. Orange stimulates the brain with creative and imaginative energy. Blue is recognised as a colour of calm and relaxation.
An underestimated piece of furniture that is commonly found in the home, is one of the most effective pieces of furniture that you can buy for your breakout area. Sofas are heavily related to relaxing at home, so injects an element of the ‘home from home’ feel in the office.
The kitchen has been often referred to as the heart of the home, so there is no wonder that making a kitchen the heart of the office boosts the mood and furthermore the productivity of your employees. Providing a quality kitchen with great facilities will reduce the need for employees to have to travel down the road to get food and drink throughout the day, meaning they can enjoy their break all in one place without the unnecessary coffee runs in the pouring rain.
Utilise your break area when there are celebrations to be had, like birthdays and Christmas. Making your break area the hub for connecting and encouraging everyone to come together will leave a lasting impression and a great atmosphere in the office. When designing your break area, make sure you create a space big enough to hold special events and parties.
Offer your employees something fun to do whilst they unwind in the break room. Popular installations are pool tables, video games and televisions. Activities allow employees to let off steam and distracts them from the busy working environment for a while. Giving your employees a relaxing activity to partake in during their break is proven to boost productivity, as it offers a release.
ASK YOUR EMPLOYEES
When designing or updating your break room, one of the most important things you need to continuously consider is how will this break area benefit employees. You can make this easier for yourself when designing your break area by listening to, valuing and considering the opinions of your team that will actually be the ones utilising the area.