In recent years, the ‘wellness trend’ has become a buzz topic that’s used in both work and home spaces. And it only shows signs of increasing — especially in the workplace.
In fact, the so-called “wellness trend” isn’t really a trend anymore. It’s a full-fledged consideration when designing a space and has become key to attracting and retaining high-quality employees. Research shows that better-designed workplaces not only lead to higher employee engagement but that they also benefit clients, patrons and anyone else who occupies the space.
When employees deal with constant interruptions throughout the day, they can feel a lack of control of their surroundings which leads to lower levels of wellbeing, engagement and productivity — and ultimately resulting in burn-out. Businesses benefit from healthy and engaged employees who outperform their less engaged counterparts, leading to higher profits and a more positive workplace culture.
When it comes to designing a space, however, many designers only take appearance into consideration. Instead, it’s important to design with other senses in mind rather than focusing simply on what the design looks like. When you focus on other senses, like hearing and acoustics, the space presents a better experience for all users.
After all, our ears are always on, so we are constantly receiving sound inputs, some of which are easier to ignore than others. Noise breaks concentration, which hinders productivity and engagement. According to a 2019 study from Interface, co-workers talking to one another was the most distracting source of noise in the workplace, followed by a co-worker talking on the phone, phones ringing, people walking and noise from printers or fax machines.
As a result, noise control in an office is essential to creating a healthy workplace. Acoustic products can work in concert with other design elements such as color and texture to create a space that supports wellbeing, engagement and productivity.
These 11 examples show how, by using acoustic products, productivity can improve sound quality and the overall employee experience — while also enhancing your design.
1. Unify a Large Space
“Bright Office” Featuring: SoftSpan® 24 by Arktura
Open-plan offices make up a significant portion of office layouts, making noise control an important consideration in office design. For large, open-plan offices, one way to mitigate acoustic discomfort is to install a ceiling baffle system that spans the entire room.
SoftSpan® 24 enhances acoustics and reduces the impact of noise in a beautiful trellis formation. If the open grid look isn’t for you, you can add Soft Sound® coffer panels to create an enclosed look and add extra acoustic support.
2. Use Ceiling Fins in Concert With Other Elements
“Starr Hill Richmond” Richmond, VA, 510 Architects, Mindie Ballard (Photographer), Featuring: Atmosphera® Rise by Arktura
In a large and open space with hard floors and lots of wall space, the room is full of places for sounds to reverberate. Using ceiling fins in combination with other elements such as area rugs and upholstered furniture creates a comfortable environment in more ways than one.
The faceted series of Atmosphera® Rise geometric planes provide acoustic support on the ceiling that can be installed in targeted areas to increase acoustic comfort improving wellbeing, productivity and engagement.
3. Provide Targeted Control
“Mass Robotics” Boston, MA, Silverman Trykowski, L. Barry Hetherington (Photographer), Featuring: SoundStar® by Arktura
In this collaboration space, most of the conversations and typing will take place at the large, centrally located table. The modular design of SoundStar® ceiling baffles allows you to provide targeted acoustic control directly above the space to help control the sound from reverberating.
4. Master a Space With Dividers
“Neutral Flexible Meeting Space” Featuring: SoftScreen® Groove Angled by Arktura
A modern upgrade to the outdated cubicle, individual workstations grant the perfect balance between a private office and collaboration area. Installing acoustic wall panels and partitions to separate each area increases productivity by absorbing and blocking sound from nearby areas.
The SoftScreen® Groove Angled linear pattern can be configured in a single direction or zig-zagged across the space. These acoustic partitions can be fixed, cable hung, wall-mounted or set on a track as operable dividers. This flexibility allows you to create the perfect space with ample benefits for your employees and their needs.
5. Set the Room in Motion
“Leavy Library Shoah Foundation” Los Angeles, CA, Belzberg Architects, Bruce Damonte (Photographer), Featuring: SoftFold® by Arktura
The subtle play between light and shadow provided by SoftFold® acoustic panels creates a sense of forward motion in the space that is both exciting and invigorating. Created with Soft Sound® material, it’s offered in a variety of colors, combining design and functionality to create a comfortable space.
6. Think Outside of the (Color) Box
“Burst of Color” Featuring: VaporSoft® Cluster by Arktura
Color has been found to have an impact not only on mood but also on productivity and wellbeing. So, it stands to reason that infusing color into the acoustic design of a space will increase its benefits. VaporSoft® Cluster, along with many of our other acoustic products, is offered in a wide range of color options and wood textures.
7. Integrate Surprising and Unique Design Elements
“CMM 5820” Woodland Hills, CA, ENV, Costea Photo, Featuring: VaporSoft® Trail by Arktura
The aesthetics of a space have a profound effect on how we feel in it. So, choosing aesthetically pleasing acoustic products that also allow for the integration of other elements that enhance the space is a no-brainer. VaporSoft® Trail is trimmable at the installation site, making it very versatile and accommodating to custom design elements.
8. Design a Streamlined Space
“Quest Braker Point III” Austin, TX, Carson Design, Featuring: SoundAngle® by Arktura
Some designs benefit from lots of elements all working in concert with each other, but the design can quickly become distracting, limiting productivity. This design, with its minimal, calming color scheme paired with a few pops of brighter color and SoundAngle® acoustic baffles creates a streamlined design where ideas can fill the space.
9. Use One Product to Create Continuity
“McDonald´s Headquarters” Chicago, IL, Interior Architects, Featuring: SoundBar® by Arktura
Throughout this large space, SoundBar® provides continuity for different areas. Whether people are seated on the couch or at the bar area, they feel connected to others, enhancing wellbeing.
10. Incorporate High Contrast
“Werner Co” Barrington, IL, EWP Architects, Featuring: TriSoft® by Arktura
The productive mood of this conference room is evident in the high contrast colors used in the TriSoft® ceiling system. The strong geometric pattern adds depth and dimension to a boardroom that would otherwise be indistinct from millions of other boardrooms. This unique identity increases engagement and productivity.
11. Cover Multiple Surfaces
“Leavy Library Shoah Foundation” Los Angeles, CA, Belzberg Architects, Bruce Damonte (Photographer), Featuring: SoftScreen® Groove Straight by Arktura
Using grooved SoftScreen® Grooved wall coverings on the walls and on the ceiling delivers a one-two punch that knocks out unwanted sound. Installing products on adjacent surfaces absorbs more sound and stops reverberations in their tracks. Install these panels in a direct mounting method in a combination of straight and angled for a dynamic design users will love.
Design a Space That Supports Wellbeing, Engagement and Productivity
Arktura has a wide range of acoustic solutions so that you can design a space that supports wellbeing, engagement and productivity. Health and wellness have been at the forefront of everyone’s mind in recent years, even before the pandemic hurled it even further into the spotlight. Creating spaces that make people comfortable by mitigating distractions from noise will help further the overall functionality of the space.
Contact an expert from Arktura today to design a beautiful space that combines form and function.