If you work in a large and busy office, you know that trying to focus on your work with people talking all of the time can be very difficult. Your coworkers are great, but the noise levels they create are distractions that you may not be able to afford.
You’re not alone with this problem. Offices that have cubicles are known for being some of the most disruptive work environments you can have. Do you know why? It’s because of the large noise issue
However, there are ways you can deal with the noise levels and get your work done. Cubicles are here to stay, but there are several easy solutions you can implement to reduce or cancel the noise pollution that makes it in through and over your cubicle wall. Our soundproofing tips will help you create a distraction-free workspace.
Of these 15 items, you can do some by yourself without needing permission from a higher power. You will have to ask your boss about some of them. If you own your own business, you can implement these tips to create a great working environment for your employees.
Before we get to the tips, we’ll give you all of the material we reference this is piece. This way, you can easily purchase them to help keep your cubicle quieter. They are:
15 Simple Ideas for Office Noise Reduction
1. Line the Cubicle Walls with Thick Fabrics
If you work in a low to middle noise environment, adding a thick fabric liner to your cubicle wall can help to muffle the noise. You can drape or pin this fabric over every wall of your cubicle, and you want to concentrate on the areas that re most problematic. It’ll absorb the sound, and this allows you to concentrate on your work.
Heavier moving blankets can stop sound from passing through the fibers, and they’re a less expensive option that you can try on your own. These heavy blankets come in a range of colors, and they’re unobtrusive enough to stay out of your way.
- Professional-grade: Oversized, 80" x 72" premium quality moving pads that provide exceptional damage protection from scratches, nicks, dirt, and moisture when moving or transporting furniture, appliances, and other valuable large items
- Superior cushioning: Constructed with thick, padded virgin cotton batting with polyester binding, these packing blankets offer superior protection compared to most competitor's blankets made from inferior materials. Zig-zag stitching holds inner cushioning in place for consistent padding protection and prolonged pad life.
2. Consider Softer Furnishings
A lot of noise in and around cubicles comes from sound echoing back off of all of the hard surfaces in the cubicle itself like the floor, desk, chair leg, computer, and walls. A simple way to reduce the amount of echo you hear is to add softer furnishings to your cubicle.
Add a few small potted plants, a cushion for your chair, or canvas wall hangings. Any soft addition you can think of that doesn’t get in your way can help absorb the echos and give you a quieter environment.
3. Add Carpeting
- [NON-SHEDDING]: Expertly machine-woven from enhanced soft synthetic durable fibers that have a virtually non-shedding pile for ultimate convenience
- [PLUSH & COZY]: Features a 2-inch thick pile height for just the right amount of cozy cushioned softness underfoot
4. Block Small Crannies and Nooks
5. Use Rubber Floor Mats
- Ultra easy DIY installation without the need for messy adhesive or expensive installers
- Offers exceptional UV and water resistance, making them great outdoor floors for a balcony or a patio
6. Attach Soundproof Panels to Your Cubicle Walls
You’ll pay in a little for this trick, but it’s a relatively cost-effective option to help deaden sound. One thing you do want to do is ask your boss for approval before you go this route because you’ll attach the panels directly to your cubicle wall. If they say yes, you can get to work.
Soundproof foam panels are the things you see when you look inside most music recording studios, and you can buy entire packs of them before having them sent straight to your office. The trick is to cover as much of your cubicle walls as you possibly can with the panels.
They work to reduce both the outside noise and the inside echos. However, this doesn’t guarantee a completely quiet workspace. It can significantly reduce the amount of noise you hear throughout the day, though.
7. Hang Soundproof Curtains
- READY MADE: 1 panel per package. Each Classic Lined Patio Door Curtain measures 100" wide x 84" long. The unique design of silver grommet (1.6-inch inner diameter) creates casual elegance for your house, which makes the curtains easy to install and slide.
- 100% BLACKOUT: The real blackout curtains on the market. Sew in black liner backing makes the drapes thick enough to completely keep out the 100% SUNLIGHT and UV RAY. The greatest benefit is to offer you a real dark environment, bringing you a good night's sleep during the day.
8. Raise Your Cubicle Wall Height
- Acoustic panels enhance privacy and reduce noise while helping foster safe separation between coworkers, students, employees and customers, and more
- Zippered connections let you combine panels or use individually; freestanding design, lightweight panels, and sturdy steel feet make it easy to set up and move
9. Install a White Noise Fan
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10. Hanging Acoustic Panels
11. White Noise Machine
- Buy with confidence. Lectrofan is designed in the USA and backed by a 1,000 day satisfaction guarantee.
- Provides ten fan sounds and ten ambient noise variations, including White noise, Pink noise and brown noise
12. Rearrange Your Office Layout
Take a few days and pinpoint the loud cubicles and the quiet cubicles. Take the quieter teams and place them as far away from the loud teams as possible in cubicle blocks. This strategy will reduce the noise for the teams who get distracted or bothered by it, and the ones that don’t mind working with it won’t be bothered.
13. Add Acoustic Ceiling Tiles
- Superior sound absorbing qualities - reduces unwanted reverb and echo making speech and sounds more audible. Minimizes background noise in your space as well as transference of that noise to another room.
- Made from lightweight soft high quality fiberglass and finished with a rigid non-woven facing.
14. Upgrade the Phone Systems
One of the biggest noise complaints in offices is coworkers using the telephone system and talking too loudly. One easy thing you can do is upgrade your phone system and swap out the traditional handset for headsets with microphones. This will drastically reduce the noise levels throughout your office.
15. Educate Your Workers or Coworkers
If you’ve tried some or all of these steps and you still have a large problem with noise, it may be time to educate your coworkers or employees. Set up a noise management plant with your team, and make a few office space etiquette rules. Advise your workers not to take their conference calls at their desk, to wear headsets when to attend webinars, and take speakerphone off during calls.
All of these small things will really add up. If you have trouble with people talking over cubicle walls, take steps to reduce how often it happens. Ask people to put their smartphones on silent if you allow them out, and send reminders when the noise levels start to peak again.
Should You Try to Soundproof Your Cubicle?
At the end of the day, it’s up to you. If you choose to try and soundproof your cubicle, the noise pollution levels will drop, but you won’t be able to hear your coworkers if they have questions.
It could encourage people to speak quieter when they know they don’t have to compete with all the other noise in the environment. If you own the business, you may want to seriously consider soundproofing your cubicle space to give your employees fewer distractions. If you don’t own the space, remember to ask your boss permission before attempting anything we listed.