Soundproofing an Office Cabin

In this blog I will explain how you can soundproof an office cabin; we will discuss all the possible ways which will be cost-effective to achieve the desired results effectively. So, if you working from home, or you have been given a cabin office on the office floor, we will guide you step by step. So, let’s get started.

In an open office with high or low cubicles, occupants have limited control over the amount of sound attenuation they can achieve. Even in these situations, though, you should be able to make some adjustments to make the noise in your cubicle at least tolerable. Here are some ideas you can attempt, or at the very least propose, to improve things.

How to Soundproof an Office Cabin?

You should keep a decibel metre in your office to monitor noise levels throughout the day. Simply place it on your desk and set it to activate every 30 minutes. Make a note of the outcomes. After you’ve finished soundproofing, repeat the process. You can also share this information with coworkers and management.

Material Needed
Decibel Metre
  • Discuss Soundproofing Thoughts with Your Boss and Co-Workers
  • Add Thick Soundproof Carpets to Floor
  • Use Floor Mats
  • Raise Height of the Office Cabin
  • Use Soundproof Curtains/Blankets Within Cabin
  • Make Cubical Softer

A little about cabin noise

You need to know a little about the underlying causes before you can remedy them. As civilization has advanced, individual offices and typing pools have given way to office cubicles at various periods. And, in the name of easy cooperation, teamwork, and efficiency, cubicle walls are going lower.

According to a Harvard Business Review report, approximately 60% of cubicle dwellers, regardless of barrier heights, suffer from a lack of sound isolation. (Even open workplaces with no partitions outperformed by 10%.) As a result, any attempts to soundproof cubicles will make employees happier and more productive.

Cubicle Conversations, phones, computers, printers, shredders, photocopiers, staplers, paper rustling, and all of the noises you can’t seem to separate from a typical office atmosphere constitute noise. It eventually becomes a part of your life–until you leave the building. Then you start thinking about how you can make it quieter.

There’s a considerable chance you won’t be able to persuade your boss to spend a significant amount of money retrofitting all of the cubicles in your office. Regardless of how well-founded your arguments are. As a result, make plans to improve your workspace. Soundproofing is far more effective when done as close to the source of the noise as possible, so hopefully, some of your coworkers will follow your lead.

Remember that you won’t be completely successful because practically all cubicle walls stop short of the ceiling, leaving the top of your space wide open to noise penetration. Remember the Three Decibel Rule, which will give you cause to be optimistic.

A Rule to Remember (3 Decibel Rule)

“Every 3-decibel shift signifies a doubling or halving of sound energy,” according to the 3 Decibel Rule. That is, a seemingly minor reduction in decibel level might result in significant gains in your serenity level.

Change in dBVariation in sound energy
3 dB increaseThe energy of sound is doubled, and the energy of sound is halved.
3 dB decreaseThe energy of sound is halved
10 dB increaseThe sound energy is multiplied by a factor of 10
10 dB decreaseThe amount of sound energy is reduced by a factor of 10
20 dB increaseThe sound energy is multiplied by a factor of 100.
20 dB decreaseThe acoustic energy is reduced by a factor of 100.

Discuss Soundproofing Thoughts with Your Boss and Co-Workers

This is a pretty self-evident initial step. If the noise bothers you, it’s likely bothering others as well. The single voice wailing in the wilderness problem is solved by convincing more of your coworkers, especially management, to join on board. It’s usually a good idea to create a well-organized presentation for whomever you’re speaking with. You might want to incorporate the following ideas:

Etiquette Rules 

Types of footwear (particularly on hard surfaces), no speakerphones in cubicles, and no loitering outside workspaces are just a few examples.

Seating Rearrangement 

Some people have a natural tendency to be loud. It seems logical to attempt to keep them all together in one place. Perhaps some soundproof room dividers between the loud and peaceful sections of the office would be useful.

Material Needed
soundproof room dividers

Soundproofing ‘Loud’ Room 

Set aside a space for loud chats, conference calls, and other such activities. An acoustic adjustable stand can be of use you may check one out here

Cell Phone Rules 

. Suggest that they be turned off or set to vibrate. (If I were in charge of the rules, I’d keep them out of the office.) Completely.)

No Talking to Other Cubicles 

One of the major advantages of a cubicle workspace is the ease with which coworkers can be reached. People shouting from cubicle to cubicle or speaking over partition walls, on the other hand, serve no useful function. Approach the person with whom you wish to speak.

Soundproofing Improvements

Include a list of the following soundproofing ideas, most of which are simple and inexpensive. It might be able to assist you in moving your office in the appropriate path.

Material Needed
Sound Proof Room Dividers
Adjustable Office Cabin

Add Thick Soundproof Carpets to Floor

Hard surfaces such as hardwood, concrete, tile, and linoleum reflect noise. Carpet should be installed throughout the area, but at the absolute least on the hallway outside and within your cubicle. Your cubicle’s carpet will absorb some noise while also making it quieter for your coworkers. Any sort of carpet will help, but thick, heavy wool is quietest. The Rug Pad USA underlayment softens the floor and absorbs more sound. To keep everything in place, use double-sided carpet tape. A coworker who trips over your carpet will not be fond of you.

Material Needed
 Rug Pad USA
 Double-Sided Carpet Tape

Use Floor Mats

Soundproofing rubber floor mats can be used instead of or in addition to carpets. Get thick, dense rugs that will absorb sound, either from the environment or from your cubicle. To avoid tripping risks, secure the mats to the floor with double-sided carpet tape, whether they are placed under the carpet, on the carpet, or in solid flooring.

Material Needed
Soundproof Rubber Floor Mats

Raise Height of The Office Cabin

Cubicle walls are typically 4 to 5.5 feet tall. Replace current separators with acoustic office partitions that are at least 6′ high to reduce noise pollution and keep all but the tallest neighbour from leaning over the divider.

Acoustic office partitions have a Noise Reduction Coefficient of 0.85, which means they absorb 85 percent of the sound that tries to flow through them despite being only 66 inches tall.

Material Needed
Office Partition

Use Soundproof Curtains/Blanket in Within Cabin

For this soundproofing option, you’ll require weekend access to the office. Because you’ll be hanging drapes or blankets from your cubicle’s ceiling above the walls to cover the large space between the tops of the walls and the ceiling. This is where the majority of the noise originates. It will reflect off of ceilings or flow through walls into your environment.

Nicetown Soundproof Blackout is available for purchase. Curtains and curtain rods that are the right size. Install them directly over your cubicle’s walls, so that they hang on your side of the walls. (These curtains will eliminate a great deal of noise.) Finding the right anchor places on the ceiling may necessitate the use of a laser level.

Please keep in mind that these curtains are fairly substantial. They’re unlikely to operate in drop ceilings with T-bars or anywhere else where locating a firm anchor point is difficult or impossible. A stud finder, in addition to a laser level, may be required to locate ceiling joists for anchoring purposes.

Soundproof blankets, which are usually less expensive and long enough to reach the floor, can be used instead of curtains. (Remember, these are moving blankets, and they normally come in black or blue.) Grommets on one side of many of the blankets allow them to be hung on poles. (If you want to put grommets in blankets that don’t have them, you can acquire a grommet machine.)

Material Needed
Soundproof Blackout
Black Dacker Laser Level
 Wall Scanner (stud finder)
Soundproof Blankets
 Grommet Machine

Make Cubical Softer

Hard surfaces reflect noise, whereas soft furniture absorbs it. Finding a soft workstation is tough, but a thick desk pad/calendar can help absorb some noise. You can also justify a cluttered desk since the paper and other items will absorb some noise and/or divert it in different ways.

Some cubicle walls are composed of fabric-covered material that absorbs sound and makes your office quieter. However, the majority of them are built of hard materials such as drywall, wood, and glass, all of which are nearly useless in terms of noise absorption. Soundproof blankets draped over cubicle walls provide excellent sound absorption.

You might also consider the following noise-absorbing or diffusing ideas:

Soft Chairs

Sound waves don’t bounce back from soft surfaces as they do from hard ones. Instead, they’ll be swallowed.

Cushions

If you can’t or don’t want to bring in soft furnishings, at the very least use cushions to absorb sound.

Drapes

For the doorway

Wall Hangings

Sound waves will be absorbed by wall hangings made of cloth. Sound absorption panels or sound diffusers could also be used. (It’s worth noting that some of the designs are pretty appealing.)

Potted Plants

Plants are not noise absorbers, but when sound waves bounce off hard surfaces, they are broken up and become less intense.

Material Needed
Soft Chairs
Cusions
Drapes
 Wall Hangings
 Potted Plants

Conclusion

Cubicle offices are designed to be low-cost and space-efficient. They’re also known for being one of the worst places to work because of the near-constant noise pollution. Regrettably, the design will persist until a more cost-effective alternative emerges. All the above-mentioned procedures are cost-effective, depending upon the budget several means or ways can be adopted to get the required results. Here are some of the few questions which may come to mind.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How can I make an office cabin soundproof?

We have discussed all the possible solutions in this blog but, still here is an overview

Use floor carpets, install heavy drapes, add indoor plants, use soundproof wall hangings, use bookshelves etc.

Where should acoustic panels be placed in a home office?

Acoustic Panels should be placed near the principal points of reflection in your office to get the most out of your wall treatment. These points vary depending on the area, but in offices, placing them near face level across the office to effectively absorb spoken sound is a good idea.

How much does it cost to soundproof an office?

The national average price was $1,500. The average price range is $1,000-$2,500. The least expensive option is $300. The maximum cost is $45,000.

Are the acoustic panel worth it?

If you wish to dampen airborne sound waves, acoustic foam is a good investment. You can regulate overall vibration, noise levels, and echoes by installing acoustic foam to ceilings, doors, and walls. However, if you’re looking to soundproof a space, the acoustic foam will fall short.

How many soundproof panels do I need?

A good rule of thumb is to cover 15-30% of the whole area.

How far apart should acoustic panels be?

With only 48′ of the perimeter, the smallest perimeter is achieved when all four panels are arranged so that their long sides are touching. The circumference of the entire set of panels expands to 72′ when they are spread out with 4′ intervals between them, and the layout efficiency increases by 50%.

Sources

https://www.audimute.com/general-office-acoustic-soundproofing
https://www.fixr.com/costs/soundproof-room
https://www.audimute.com/best-acoustic-panel-placement
https://acousticsoundpanels.com/blogs/acoustic-sound-panels/how-much-acoustic-sound-treatment-do-i-need

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