Open Plan Office Spaces and Reverberation Issues (At The Office Part I)

Modern, open plan office spaces are beautiful for the most part and with freelancing becoming more and more popular so are co-working office spaces. These spaces are usually large, built with rather reflective surfaces in mind - if you look at the link below on best Modern Office designs you can see this.

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What these specific designs leave is a large reverberant space which contributes to poor speech intelligibility and focus in workspaces. There is a whole range of studies and research into these fields which we will go in to in a following blog entry but below we will look at potential solutions to help alleviate these issues and create a more suited working environment.

Office Soundproofing and Office Absorption

There are two areas to look at when looking noise issues within offices, Office Soundproofing looks more towards reducing sound transference between rooms, Office Absorption looks at reducing reverberation, we will be looking at Reverberation and Absorption in this post.

Speech Intelligibility

Speech Intelligibility is a rating in which looks at the clarity of speech in each space, whilst these are most important in the Education Sector they will hold significance in the office especially between teams when discussions are held throughout the day

Without a good understanding of speech, important information may not be conveyed and missed due to the noise levels or would require repeating multiple times - this is influenced by how reverberant a space is, with long reverb times this will become problematic and would need addressing

Reverberation Measurement

To give an accurate reading and response to these issues, we would recommend an Acoustic Test to be carried out which an RT60 or equivalent is specified. An RT60 is a measurement where a pink noise is generated for a specific length of time and immediately stopped (this is called the interrupted noise method) and you measure how long the sound takes to decay below 60dB - this length of time is the Reverberation Time

Office Absorption

We have a large range of Sound Absorption options in a range of colours and designs to help keep in visual harmony with your workspace.


New in our range, Adagio is a design focused baffle which is hung from the ceiling to create not only a sculpture but to improve the acoustics by providing a rigid but non-reflective form to reduce reverberation.

Available in a range of 13 different colours


Much like the Adagio, Cube is a rigid, non-reflective material and design led product to reduce reverberation. Shapes, logos and potential ideas can be produced from these - we have a designer on hand to discuss your requirements. But common uses of Cube for inspiration can be in the form of;

  • Desk Dividers
  • Room Dividers
  • Sculpture focuses with brand
  • Creating quiet pods for freelancing work

Available in a range of 13 different colours


MuteSpace is a soft, non-reflective material made of polyester which helps to reduce reverberation also. It performs higher than the above options as a direct fixing but is limited in it's design possibilities.

Available wrapped in up to 34 different colours