5) Level up the acoustic environment
It's easy to forget that your setting influences how you work. We don't see the surroundings as a disturbance, and fairly often, acoustics is an area that people don't consider.
One of the perks with a home-office is the zero disturbance from your colleagues' conversations or constant movements. Nevertheless, we must not misjudge how sound level noise can negatively affect your concentration, productivity and work capacity.
If we talk about a long-term home office, it's ideal to be in a separate area that's appropriately outfitted for work. It will assure 75 % fewer distractions and 60 % chances for a quieter environment.
With improving the acoustic comfort at your workspace, it's not only the lower noise level and less reduction you reduce, but it will also support speech intelligibility. The home office calls for remote contact options where we apply video conferences, video calls, Teams meetings and webinars. In 2020, online platforms as Zoom, Google Meet and Microsoft Teams had over 475 million daily users.
You can get the best communication level with proper equipment like a microphone or a headset, but the indoor acoustic environment needs to be optimised to assure good sound quality.
But how do you know if your home office needs acoustic improvement?
Well, look around and listen.
You will find out soon if you work in a minimalistic decorated space with many hard, smooth surfaces and materials.
The sound from your voice echoes in the room as there is nothing to absorb the sound, so it creates a cacophony of noise. Hard surfaces and materials reflect sound, where soft materials absorb it.
Books on a shelf, middle-sized plants, paintings on the wall and cabinets will also help improve the indoor acoustic environment. It diffuses and scatters the sound waves, which we perceive as more comfortable.
You should add sound-absorbing materials to get a better acoustic atmosphere. But be aware, not every soft material absorbs the same amount of sound. A 7 mm thick carpet on the floor has other properties than 40 mm acoustic ceiling panels directly mounted to the wall or ceiling.
Get inspiration on what materials can absorb sound:
"5 questions about acoustics".
Now, we can call it "Home Sweet Home"
With the following upgrades to your home office, you will feel better and concentrate more. It's crucial that you're happy, relaxed and motivated to start the workday.
In a thriving workspace, a positive atmosphere is crucial. That's a topic we didn't touch upon here, but it's definitely adding an excellent vibe to the quiet office set-up.
Music impacts our mood, and if you play music while working, it can also add to your productivity. It helps you to relax and get energised.
According to a study from the University of Miami's Music Therapy Department, the test subjects who listened to music while working were able to complete their tasks with superior quality and speed compared to the study group without music.
So let's cue up a playlist and fill the space with your favourite mood music.
My advice is to start with Sam Feldt (feat. ALMA & Digital Farm Animals) - Home Sweet Home.