Many consider their physical workspace impactful on their overall productivity. One element that may be hindering your team’s ability to work effectively might surprise you: office noise.  


Fortunately, minimizing noise distractions in your workspace can be achieved. Learn more about how noise affects productivity and how to unlock your team’s potential through noise mitigation solutions below. 

How Does Office Noise Impact Productivity?  

According to the 2024 NBF Workspaces: Solved Report, 23% of respondents indicated that their physical office space has too much noise and distractions, and 60% said that controlling noise was a barrier to productivity. The statistics show that noise is a challenge to effective work, but let’s go one step further to understand why workers cite it as such.  


Research conducted by Interface Inc., revealed that 62% of surveyed U.S. office-based professionals believe workplace noise negatively affects them due to concentration difficulties and productivity levels. Additionally, a study from UC Irvine showed that it can take up to 23 minutes to refocus after just one interruption.  


Although these studies show a link between office noise and decreased performance, they do not indicate that you need to eliminate all noise. That’s simply not possible for most organizations. Rather, it indicates that there is an opportunity for you to implement solutions that both support your business’s collaboration needs and give employees the quiet spaces they need to be productive.  

Solve Your Space: Noise Mitigation 

Consider these tips to help your team overcome noise-related challenges in their workspace.  

Consider Office Layout 

Office layout significantly affects noise-related distractions for employees, with open-plan layouts promoting collaboration but potentially increasing noise levels, while closed offices offer more sound privacy but can feel isolating. Measures such as room dividers, privacy panels, workstations and cubicles and spatial arrangement, along with providing flexible workspaces and personalization options, help mitigate distractions. Cultivating a mindful communication culture, integrating technology and soliciting feedback are also essential for creating a productive and comfortable work environment. 

Create Adaptable Personal Workspaces 

Personal workspaces – whether it be a workstation or cubicle – play a crucial role in overcoming noise-related challenges to productivity by providing team members with individualized, semi-private spaces where they can focus on their tasks.  


By creating a physical barrier between employees, personal workstations help dampen ambient noise, reducing distractions and enabling better concentration. Additionally, having a designated space fosters a sense of psychological comfort and security, which can further enhance focus and productivity.  


These designated areas offer a sense of ownership and control over one's work environment, allowing individuals to customize their space according to their preferences and needs for concentration. When you’re building out personal workstations and cubicles, be sure to also consider power, storage, desking and chair needs. A well-designed personal workspace can help fuel achievement – meaning it should be a top business priority.  

Add Pods and Nooks 

Pods and nooks offer valuable solutions for teams seeking to overcome noise-related challenges in the office by providing secluded and acoustically controlled spaces for collaboration, brainstorming, and focused work. These compact, semi-private areas offer a retreat from the hustle and bustle of open-plan layouts, allowing teams to engage in discussions without being interrupted by ambient noise.  


Pods and nooks typically incorporate sound-absorbing materials and strategic design elements to minimize disruptions from adjacent areas, fostering an environment conducive to productive teamwork. Furthermore, the intimate nature of these spaces encourages closer collaboration and enhances communication among team members, leading to more effective problem-solving and decision-making. 


By offering designated zones tailored for team activities, pods and nooks serve as essential components in the modern office environment, enabling teams to work harmoniously and efficiently despite surrounding noise distractions. 

Optimize Your Space, Achieve Your Goals 

Your workspace is key to achieving your organization’s goals. By making changes to your workspace, you can help your team navigate office noise and overcome a significant blocker to their ability to work effectively. Your productivity goals are attainable – and solving your space is a great way to meet them.


Pro Tip: Say Yes to Expert Support 

We can make the process easier. Receive trusted guidance from our national network of 100+ experts.

Pro Tip: Say Yes to Expert Support 

We can make the process easier. Receive trusted guidance from our national network of 100+ experts.