When you are working in an office, you will need a quiet environment to ensure concentration and increased productivity.
Working in an environment with a lot of constant background activity from people chattering and phone calls will only make you stressed and unable to focus on your work.
Offices with cubicles are convenient when it comes to the privacy of workers and utilizing the office space. They also enhance communication because workers can communicate easily with one another at the comfort of your desk.
Unfortunately, they have overwhelming noise pollution that is distracting making it difficult to work efficiently. The good news is there are several things you can do to make your working environment bearable.
These cubicle noise reduction solutions are pocket-friendly and will help you to cancel or at least soundproof your cubicle.
Here are the 9 Best Ways to Soundproof a Cubicle
1. Raise Your Cubicle Walls
You can raise the walls of your cubicles to allow soundproofing. Higher walls will allow less noise from all directions to your cubicle.
They will also create an illusion of more privacy. While you may not be able to adjust the existing walls, you can opt to buy room dividers or partitions.
They are either aluminum or steel walls and will insulate your office area and reduce noise to the minimum level. There is also the option of getting the freestanding office partition walls that have honeycomb patterns with acoustic abilities in the wood panels that will offer you noise insulation.
For this solution, you will need to ask for permission from your employer because you cannot just walk to the office with them.
You can get cubicle wall extenders to extend your cubicle walls (See Image on Amazon).
2. Attach Acoustic Panels
The wall is the most significant part of your cubicle. Soundproofing it will give you the best chance at attaining a quiet working environment.
Acoustic panels are sponge-like blocks of materials and are easily attached to the walls. The soft material makes sound bounce off by increasing air resistance providing soundproof walls.
They will create a cubicle sound barrier that will not allow sound to pass through. They are usually open-celled and are either made of polyether, extruded melamine or polyester which are good sound insulating materials.
You can buy these panels and install them on your own. You will also need to get the permission of your employer before installing them. They may not block all the noise but will help reduce the noise significantly.
There are many Acoustic Foam panels on the market but the ones I personally recommend are A2s Protection Foam Panels (See Real User Reviews on Amazon).
3. Invest in a Noise Reduction Carpet
Employers should consider covering the office floors with thick and dense mats. Getting a rug for your cubicle will not be as effective because you will only block sound from inside your cubicle and not that from the outside.
Hard flooring in an office creates echoes from voices and also sounds from ladies shoes. A carpet will come in handy by reducing these echoes providing noise insulation.
Simple noise absorbing carpets can be, and they add a perfect design for your office space. It is an excellent addition for the sound proof of a cubicle that is easy to manage and install.
There are many noise reduction carpets on the market and to be fair some work well, but the one I personally recommend is
4. Buy Soundproofing Curtains
Soundproof curtains are suitable for low to medium noise in your working environment. They are made of more substantial and thicker fabrics that look like your ordinary kind curtains.
They have multiple dense layers of fabric that are good for your cubicle noise reduction. The soft materials are best at making the sound bounce off or jump around making it difficult for the echoes to your cubicle.
A soundproof curtain can also double as thermal insulation to your space as well as blocking light for when you need privacy. They can be hung from the ceiling to the floor leaving no space for noise to penetrate.
5. Find and Cover the holes
You should scrutinize your cubicle and identify at small holes, cracks or even gaps. Holes allow sound to penetrate to your cubicle. Covering them will block any noise from entering.
To cover the holes, you can use small pieces of foam. It is perfect for covering holes since it fits in anywhere you put it due to its flexible nature.
You can also choose to use acoustic caulk that offers a more permanent solution to cover the holes. It is durable, does not shrink nor crack and doesn’t harden.
Alternatively, you can use green glue as a sealant that easily patches up the holes. It keeps sound and vibration from traveling to the next room as well.
Since Green Glue is a very powerful glue, you should apply it carefully and always made sure you have gloves to prevent it from coming into contact with your skin.
6. Get an Office White Noise Machine
White noise machines are mostly used to help people or pets sleep soundly. You can also buy a white noise sound machine for your cubicle. They produce natural neutral audio sounds that put your subconscious away from the distracting noises and concentrating on what you are doing.
The noise from the surrounding environment will not distract you from your work increasing your productivity. White noise machines like LectronFan and Marpac Dohm are some of the best for office.
7. Choose Softer Sound Absorbing furniture’s
When it comes to choosing the right furniture for your office space, you should select the soft ones. Soft furniture’s will help in your soundproofing efforts by decreasing the sound bouncing from wall to wall, the ceiling and floor.
Softer drapes, cabinets or even cushions will play a big part. You may find a new job at a new office that is already furnished, your boss might not let you have some new furniture or you are too afraid to ask since you are still fresh.
You can keep your working desk messy by putting a lot of stuff on it, make sure they are neatly arranged. You can also keep all the massive files against the wall.
It may not block all the noise but will help distort the sounds. Purchase a headphones noise canceling system Noise canceling headphones uses active noise controls to reduce unwanted and distracting noise.
They will only capture your voice and block other background noises your interlocutor hears significantly reducing noise.
You should also consider getting soundproofing speakers or headphones. They will provide a quieter environment with less effort.
8. Rearrange your Employees Sitting Arrangement
In a working environment, some employees are louder than others. Those who are louder don’t mind working in a noisy surrounding.
You can rearrange the cubicles such that those who are noisy are in one corner while those who like it quiet are in the other.
The noise level will be concentrated in one area, giving those who prefer a calm environment happy.
9. Educate employees on the need to observe cubicle etiquette
Cubicle etiquette includes set of rule and norms that employees should follow to ensure there is a desirable working environment for all.
The Human Resources department should take charge and educate others on the need to observe these rules and norms. It means considering the presence of other people around you.
Some of the norms are based on an individual common sense. For example, when you need to talk to a person across your cubicle, you do not need someone to tell you it is courteous to walk over to where they are instead of shouting, or you should play music on your headphones instead of playing it loudly.
Final Thoughts of Soundproof Cubicles
These soundproofing solutions, you should be in a position to find cubicle sound barriers that will enable you to keep your cubicle quieter. Although they might not make it completely quiet, they will at least reduce some noise making you work efficiently.
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