Informa Markets

Author Bio ▼

Safety and Health Practitioner (SHP) is first for independent health and safety news.
June 12, 2023

Get the SHP newsletter

Daily health and safety news, job alerts and resources

Excessive noise is preventing people returning to the office – study finds

A study has found excessive noise is preventing people returning to the office – and reduced productivity when they do go in.

It showed almost four in ten London workers battle with concentration issues while one in six employees believe employers underestimate the impact of excessive noise.

Decorative acoustic finishes firm Oscar Acoustics surveyed 440 office workers across various industries and company sizes in London – and nearly a quarter preferred to work from home while 25% of white collar workers reported making formal complaints about noisy colleagues.

In addition, 11% felt compelled to leave their jobs altogether.

Ben Hancock, Managing Director at Oscar Acoustics, said: “For far too long, the acute issue of noise in our workplaces has been ignored, yet its consequences are undeniable.
“With discussions surrounding hybrid working models continuing to gain momentum, the lasting effects on employee health, productivity, and quality of work have now become a glaring issue.

“Our research shows that creating the ideal environment for people to flourish and feel at ease, is a crucial step in helping businesses to encourage staff back into the office.

Noise and stress

“With health and wellbeing now at the top of the agenda, addressing the issue of excessive noise should be front and centre for employers.

“It’s evident that acoustically balanced workspaces alleviate stress and contribute to a contented and efficient workforce.
“Specially designed acoustic sprays can prove to be the most effective in eliminating the negative impact of harmful noise levels.
“Choosing the right acoustic solution will, ultimately, result in quiet and appealing workspaces that employees will want to return to time and again.”

The research revealed only 5% of employees work in a quiet office environment and 16% indicated that persistent noise levels impacted their ability to meet deadlines.

It also highlighted that 23% of employees have suffered from hearing damage as a result of excessive noise at work.

Additionally, working in London has led to heightened stress levels for 30% of respondents, with more than one in four having to work late nights, or arrive at the office early, in order to maintain productivity.

Oscar Acoustics believe the findings of the study emphasise the urgent need for employers to address the problem of excessive noise in the workplace, not only to boost productivity but also to safeguard the well-being of their workforce.

This report is part of a wider whitepaper issued by Oscar Acoustics that aims to advocate acoustic health in workspace design from the outset.

The Safety Conversation Podcast: Listen now!

The Safety Conversation with SHP (previously the Safety and Health Podcast) aims to bring you the latest news, insights and legislation updates in the form of interviews, discussions and panel debates from leading figures within the profession.

Find us on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Google Podcasts, subscribe and join the conversation today!

Related Topics

Notify of

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments