Flexible, low-cost office space and the opportunity to interact with a community of like-minded freelancers and entrepreneurs – two of the many reasons as to why coworking environments are on the rise. But these spaces can lead to numerous acoustic issues...
It may be surprising to find out that London is the global capital of coworking (ahead of New York, no less). But outside of the Greater London area, demand for these shared spaces are on the rise and that demand is showing no sign of slowing down: Last year, coworking offices accounted for 7.5% of all leases signed, up from 2% in 2016.
But the question is, can people work effectively out of these areas?
There’s no denying the fact that these places instantly become an amalgamation of sound where noisy salespeople, chatty workers and varying ringtones punctuate the air throughout the day.
Solitude is far harder to find as
Together, these factors indicate that acoustic design is often overlooked in these coworking offices.
This is problematic as Coworking Resources cite that overcrowded spaces are contributing to an epidemic of overwhelm. And as more and more people turn to these open offices as a place to work, noise levels increase and, ultimately, comfort levels decrease. This, unfortunately, risks alienating previously loyal members who may want to turn elsewhere for a more acoustically-pleasing place to work.
According to Coworking Insights, shared offices should offer productivity, comfort, professional and social connectively, and flexibility. Noise pollution, such as loud colleagues, technology, music and people eating effects every one of those basic needs.
This is why the importance of acoustic design in coworking spaces cannot be overlooked. And there are many ways how those in charge of designing, developing and maintaining coworking spaces can control noise.
Creatif’s Acoustif range features a range of acoustic panels that can be used to not only create flexible working areas but also reduce sound travelling throughout the room. Alternatively, Cubes provide a welcome retreat from the buzz of an open plan workspace thanks to their acoustic panels that soak up unwanted background noise and help keep private conversations within its confined space. These simple solutions can help cut down annoying sound levels and offer privacy in a bustling place of work.
It is estimated that 40% of the workforce will be freelancers and independent contractors by 2020. What’s more, 70% of people are reporting that they feel healthier in a coworking space compared to being in a more traditional office setting.
There are many design trends that contribute incredible value to office space, such as biophilic design, however ensuring a worker’s base needs are met is integral when your entire company’s success is built on just that. With the right acoustics, any space can be designed to optimise maximum productivity.