interior companies

Interior Companies: Open-Plan Offices

Open-plan offices have become the norm in modern workplace design, fostering collaboration and a sense of community among employees. However, they also bring significant challenges, especially when it comes to managing noise. At Turnkey Interiors, one of the leading interior companies, we understand the importance of creating a balanced work environment that promotes both collaboration and concentration. In this article, we explore innovative acoustic solutions for open-plan offices, emphasising the benefits of acoustic panels, soundproofing, and white noise systems.

Noise in Open-Plan Offices

Open-plan offices are designed to break down barriers and encourage communication. While this layout has its advantages, it often leads to increased noise levels, which can be distracting and reduce productivity. According to a study by the University of California, Irvine, it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to regain focus after a distraction. This statistic highlights the need for effective noise management in open office environments, an area where specialised interior companies like Turnkey Interiors excel.

Acoustic Design Principles

A deeper dive into acoustic design principles reveals the science behind how sound behaves in an open-plan office and the solutions that mitigate noise issues. Sound travels in waves, and in an open-plan office, these waves can bounce off hard surfaces like walls, floors, and ceilings, leading to reverberation and increased noise levels. Effective acoustic design involves using materials and structures that absorb, block, or diffuse sound waves to control this reverberation. Acoustic panels and ceiling tiles, for example, absorb sound energy, reducing echo and overall noise levels. Soundproofing materials and structures, such as insulated walls and double-glazed windows, block sound transmission between different areas. Additionally, diffusive elements scatter sound waves, preventing them from concentrating in any one spot and reducing the potential for disruptive noise. By understanding and applying these principles, interior designers can create a balanced acoustic environment that supports both collaborative and focused work in open-plan offices.

Collaborative Approach

Collaboration between architects, interior designers, and acoustic engineers is paramount in crafting effective acoustic environments for modern workplaces. Architects lay the foundational blueprint for spatial design, considering structural elements that impact sound transmission and reverberation. Interior designers complement this by integrating aesthetic elements with acoustic solutions, ensuring a harmonious balance between functionality and design. Acoustic engineers bring specialised expertise in sound dynamics, recommending materials and technologies that mitigate noise and enhance acoustic comfort. This collaborative approach not only optimises the acoustic performance of open-plan offices but also enhances overall user experience, fostering productivity and well-being among employees. By working together from the initial design phase through to implementation, these professionals can tailor acoustic solutions to meet the unique needs of each workspace, creating environments that support both collaboration and focused work effectively.

Integration with Office Design Trends

Effective acoustic solutions not only address noise challenges in open-plan offices but also align with broader trends in modern office design. As workplaces evolve towards more flexible and dynamic environments, acoustic panels and soundproofing technologies play a pivotal role in supporting these trends. Flexible workspaces, characterised by adaptable layouts and multifunctional areas, benefit from acoustic solutions that promote versatility without compromising noise management. Biophilic design principles, which incorporate natural elements into office spaces to enhance well-being, can be complemented by acoustic materials that mimic natural textures and absorb sound effectively. Moreover, wellness-focused interiors that prioritise employee health and comfort can integrate acoustic solutions to create serene environments conducive to concentration and relaxation. By integrating acoustic technologies with these design trends, interior companies like Turnkey Interiors ensure that modern offices not only function efficiently but also enhance the overall work experience through thoughtful acoustic design.

Remote Work Considerations

In the era of remote work and hybrid office setups, the need for effective acoustic solutions extends beyond traditional office spaces to encompass home offices and flexible work environments. Acoustic panels, originally designed for office settings, can be adapted for use in home offices to mitigate noise distractions from household activities or external sources. Similarly, soundproofing solutions like double-glazed windows and insulated partitions can create quiet zones within homes, enhancing concentration during virtual meetings or focused work sessions. White noise systems, which mask ambient sounds, prove invaluable in maintaining privacy and reducing disruptions in shared or open-plan home environments. As businesses embrace remote and hybrid work models, the versatility and scalability of acoustic solutions become essential in fostering productivity and well-being across diverse work settings.

Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels are one of the most effective ways interior companies use to control noise in an open-plan office. These panels are designed to absorb sound, reducing the level of noise that travels through the space. Here are some benefits of incorporating acoustic panels into your office design:

1. Improved Speech Clarity

Acoustic panels help to minimise background noise, making it easier for employees to hear and understand each other. This is particularly beneficial in meeting areas and collaborative zones where clear communication is crucial.

2. Enhanced Privacy

By absorbing sound, acoustic panels prevent conversations from being overheard by others, thereby enhancing privacy. This is essential for maintaining confidentiality in sensitive discussions.

3. Aesthetic Appeal

Modern acoustic panels come in various designs and colours, allowing them to blend seamlessly with the office decor. They can be used as a design feature to enhance the overall aesthetic of the workspace.


While acoustic panels are effective in managing noise, interior companies take soundproofing a step further by creating dedicated quiet zones within the office. Here are some innovative soundproofing solutions:

1. Soundproof Booths

Soundproof booths provide employees with a quiet space to focus on tasks that require concentration. These booths can be strategically placed around the office to offer quick escapes from the bustling open-plan environment.

2. Partition Walls

Using soundproof partition walls is another effective way to create quiet zones. These walls can be installed to separate different areas of the office, reducing the spread of noise and providing a more serene work environment.

3. Double-Glazed Windows

For offices located in noisy urban areas, double-glazed windows can significantly reduce external noise. This creates a quieter indoor environment, conducive to focused work.

Customisation and Flexibility

Customisation and flexibility are key when it comes to implementing effective acoustic solutions in open-plan offices. Acoustic solutions can be tailored to fit the unique needs of different office layouts, ensuring optimal noise management for various spaces. Customisable acoustic panels, for instance, can be designed in various shapes, sizes, and colours to match the aesthetic and functional requirements of any office. Flexible designs, such as movable soundproof partitions and modular acoustic elements, allow for easy reconfiguration as the needs of the office change. This adaptability ensures that as companies grow or reconfigure their workspaces, the acoustic solutions can be adjusted accordingly, maintaining a balanced and productive environment. By prioritising customisation and flexibility, offices can future-proof their acoustic design, accommodating evolving work patterns and maintaining noise control over time.

White Noise Systems

White noise systems are an innovative solution that interior companies use to help balance sound levels in an open-plan office. By emitting a consistent background noise, these systems mask disruptive sounds and create a more uniform sound environment. Here are the benefits of white noise systems:

1. Reduced Distractions

White noise helps to drown out sudden, disruptive noises, making it easier for employees to concentrate on their work. This is particularly beneficial in high-traffic areas of the office.

2. Improved Focus

The consistent sound of white noise creates a soothing environment that can enhance focus and productivity. Employees are less likely to be distracted by conversations and other office noises.

3. Enhanced Privacy

Like acoustic panels, white noise systems can enhance privacy by masking conversations. This makes it more difficult for others to overhear private discussions, thereby maintaining confidentiality.

Ergonomic Considerations

Ergonomic considerations play a crucial role in enhancing the effectiveness of acoustic solutions in open-plan offices. By incorporating ergonomic furniture and strategic layout planning, companies can create designated zones for different activities, thereby reducing the likelihood of noise interference. Ergonomic furniture, such as adjustable desks and chairs, can be arranged to facilitate both collaborative and individual work. Meanwhile, layout planning can include quiet zones for focused tasks, meeting areas for group discussions, and break areas for informal interactions. This zoning approach not only promotes better posture and comfort for employees but also minimises noise disruptions, creating a more harmonious and productive work environment. By aligning ergonomic design with acoustic solutions, offices can achieve a balanced atmosphere that supports both collaboration and concentration.

By incorporating innovative acoustic solutions such as acoustic panels, soundproofing, and white noise systems, we can create a balanced environment that supports both collaboration and concentration. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you transform your workspace into a productive and harmonious environment.

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