This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Impact of noise at work revealed by survey

13 March 2019

Results from a study on the impact of noise on the wellbeing of employees were revealed at a press event in London yesterday.

UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering honorary senior lecturer Dr Nigel Oseland discussed the results of responses received by 1,000 UK-based office workers.

These showed that 52% of respondents reported being interrupted by noise at work more than five times a day, with 17% interrupted more than 10 times a day.

Noise in the workplace was also perceived as impacting negatively on the ability to complete work accurately and on time by 65%.

The issue was also seen to have had a negative impact on overall wellbeing by 44% and more than 40% reported that noise had made them feel stressed at work.

Dr Oseland also shared previous research results that showed workplace interruptions result in staff taking 15 minutes to retain their focus on average.

Workers interrupted 10 times a day could therefore be losing 150 minutes of productive time, he said.

The Noise and Wellbeing at Work 2019 survey was conducted by the Remark Group.

"Remark's research shows that noise is the biggest cause of dissatisfaction in the modern workplace, along with an associated loss of performance, increases stress and poorer wellbeing," said Dr Oseland.

He further stated that workplace design trends including open plan design and agile working included the need to address issues arising from "office noise distraction".

The challenge is to "enhance focussed work, whilst maintaining collaborative and creative environments.

"Remark's research and services contribute to providing the solution," said Dr Oseland.

Remark Group's Penelope Harrall said the intention behind open plan offices, to encourage communication between employees, raised the number of distracting workplace sounds.

Telephone ringtones, sudden bursts of laughter and phone conversations "are proven to be distracting and have profound effects on employee stress levels and wellbeing, not to mention the impact they have on loss in productivity", said Ms Harrall.

She further stated that sound masking systems, compulsory in the USA, are designed to reduce both general office noises and conversational distractions.

Print this page | E-mail this page


Article image Why the Law Says You Need a Nappy Bin Disposal Service

At home, parents are used to disposing of their babies’ used nappies the same way they do any other domestic waste - bagging it up and sticking it in the rubbish for general collection.Full Story...

Article image YLOTY2018 winner comments on his success on the night

This year's PFM Awards Young Leader of the Year winner, Kristian Trend, gives his reaction winning the award after receiving his trophy on 7 November at The Brewery in London.Full Story...

New company now running Interserve business

Creating Value from Waste Furniture

Critical week begins for Interserve