In today’s world, maintaining a quiet and productive work environment can be a daily struggle for most of us, especially as many work from home.
If you have a large, empty workspace, your main soundproofing concern may be how to reduce echo in an office.
Luckily, there are several methods you can employ to create a quieter workspace, and we’ll go through a few of the best ones below.
Keep reading for some easy and effective ways to make your office as quiet as humanly possible!
1. Cover Your Hardwood Floors
Wood floors create the perfect environment for an echo. Sound waves reflect off the hard material and bounce around the room. Laying down soft materials will help to absorb the sound, preventing the waves from traveling further.
If you have an office with a hardwood floor, one of the simplest ways to reduce any echo is to cover it with rugs or carpeting.
Carpeting is your best bet to deaden any noise coming from below you. The thicker and softer the carpet material, the better your soundproofing. While a thin carpet is still a better sound proofer than hardwood floors, it won’t be as good as one with a thicker material.
However, carpeting is also an expensive option and might not project the professional aesthetic you want from your office.
Also, you may not want to pay for carpet that’s just going to get dirty all the time with people coming in and out. Depending on your profession, carpeting might not be an option.
If you don’t want to cover your whole floor in carpet, laying down some rugs in critical areas around the space is a great compromise. Rugs are often just as good at soundproofing at a fraction of the price.
Once you have your rugs in hand, find out where sounds tend to come through into your office space. Place your rugs directly over the source of any noise, and you’ll see a significant noise reduction in seconds!
Rugs are also a great option if you don’t want to invest in carpeting that you won’t need forever. For example, rugs can reduce sound from temporary construction, block noise from a downstairs neighbor’s party, or improve soundproofing for recording sessions.
You can even use rugs to soundproof your walls. Hanging them up can give a fun vibe to your office space while reducing echoing sounds simultaneously.
2. Cover Your Windows
Sounds from the world outside will often penetrate your office through the windows, even if they’re closed. Glass isn’t the best soundproofing material, and everyone knows a badly installed window is just like an open window.
Covering your windows is one of the best ways to prevent echoes in any sort of workspace. Drapes, curtains, or other soft, heavy materials are all fantastic sound proofers, and they’re often an inexpensive solution to a noisy problem.
There are even special soundproof curtains available if you have a particularly noisy workspace and need a more robust solution. However, soundproofed curtains are much more expensive, so you may want to try hanging something else before making that investment.
3. Add Furniture to the Space
If you’ve already got an established office space, you probably have all the furniture you think you need. But did you know that more furniture usually means less noise?
Filling your office with a couch, seats, tables, and whatever else you can fit will greatly reduce the amount of echoing you hear on a daily basis. If all you think you need in an office is a desk and a chair, no wonder there’s an echo in there!
Going by the general rule of thumb, you should try to load your office with softer furniture since harder objects reflect soundwaves. Large, heavy things like a bookshelf full of books will help to absorb soundwaves, killing them before they travel around the room any further.
4. Hang Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam panels are professional-grade soundproofing materials that you can install on your walls, and they almost completely prevent most sounds from coming in or out of the space.
Plus, these panels create an inhospitable environment for echoing sounds inside, meaning you can have a conversation on the phone without feeling like you’re inside a big cave.
While you can buy acoustic-specific panels, any grooved foam squares will work well. You can hang them on your office’s walls using spray adhesive, covering the whole space or only the specific areas causing your noise problems.
Keep in mind that acoustic panels tend to cost more than some of the other options we’ve listed, especially when it comes to soundproofing your walls.
As a result, we only recommend using foam panels if your noise problems are truly unbearable or if you need a dead quiet space for recording.
5. Hang Moving Blankets
If you’re looking for a cheap and temporary solution for noisy office walls, consider hanging up thick and heavy moving blankets instead of acoustic panels.
While they’re not very attractive, big blankets are excellent sound proofers, preventing sound from coming in and bouncing around. Hang them over thin walls, windows, or wherever your sound problems are the worst, and you’ll notice the difference immediately.
6. Buy Some Plants
In addition to furniture, plants are another great way to fill and soundproof a space. Though it might surprise you, several types of plants have leaves perfect for decreasing echo.
While you can fill areas of your office with smaller plants, you should generally try to get a few big plants with large, thick leaves if you can. These will help capture and diminish any soundwaves they come into contact with.
Like other soundproofing solutions, try to experiment with your plant placement to get the best results. Put them in noisy areas, block echo-ey surfaces, line several small ones up on a window sill, or put a big one in each corner. The options are endless!
Filling your office with large plants is all the rage now, anyway, meaning your office will be stylish and quiet at the same time!
7. Lower Your Ceiling
If your echo problems are out of control and can’t be fixed with any of the above methods, it might be time to consider the radical option of lowering your ceiling.
High ceilings are a perfect space for echoes. Lowering the height of your office is probably the best way to diminish the possibility of echoes.
However, you’ll need a professional construction crew to handle building a wooden frame and an entirely new ceiling unless you’re equipped to do it yourself. It will also be very expensive, so we definitely recommend trying something else before resorting to this.
Once it’s done, though, the difference in echo will be immediate. With a smaller space for sound to travel, there’s almost no way your office will still produce a noticeable echo. If it does, it might be time to move!
While you might be able to lessen an echo in your office space with some well-placed furniture, rugs, carpets, and soundproofing tiles are some of the best ways to soundproof the space even further.
Just remember, the softer and heavier the materials, the better they are for soundproofing. Cover your floors, walls, and windows, and your office will be echo-free in no time at all!
Let us know in the comments below how you created your quiet office space, and maybe we’ll learn a thing or two from you!