This post is part of the series, SmallBusiness.com Guide to Office Design and Furniture: Ideas, insight and inspiration related to the basics of small office planning and furniture. You can browse other posts in the series below.
Open office design is a popular trend these days. To cope with ambient noise, workers have invested in headphones with noise reduction technology built in—or earbuds with the volume cranked up. But what about those times when a chat among co-workers is needed (and Slack isn’t the answer)? Some clever designers are coming up with ideas to baffle the noise, using techniques first developed for recording studios. Here are just a few examples of how acoustic furniture and other sound abatement approaches are entering the workspace. Note: Most of these examples are not available for sale in the U.S.
This “Retreat Booth” offers face-to-face collaboration which encourages creative and spontaneous meeting’s between colleagues. Privacy can be maintained via the acoustic benefits of the design incorporating a connecting panel with an integrated roof panel.
This approach offers an uncomplicated acoustic space. Available as a single seater or sofa with metal sled frame (not shown) or wooden legs (shown).
According to the manufacturer, the V1 chair’s acoustic atmosphere “allows you to concentrate on your own thoughts and feelings.”
This sculptured foam accent product allows you to use cloud computing under the clouds. The idea is that the foam clouds absorb the sound. Sounds angelic.
BuzziShade is a sound-absorbing floor lamp. According to its manufacturer, the lamp creates an intimate space and ensures a pleasant area of light
Industrial Telephone Hoods
From many different makers (google “acoustic hood for telephones“), these hoods have been in factory-settings for decades. For today’s open offices, many hoods no longer have phones mounted — they are places people use with mobile phones.