Co-working is a popular concept, where a variety of startups and people who are experimenting with new ideas come together to share a work space and sometime collaborate. It allows people to have much of the convenience of an office, without needing to commit to expensive rentals early in their business model.
However, with all of those people sharing a space, it can get loud. Here are some tips to help control the noise.
Involve an acoustical consultant in the design
When you are working on the workplace design, it is important to engage an acoustical consultant early in the process. They can help you to choose materials that not only look great but that also keep the sound to a comfortable level all through the day. As you may have people with different sound needs, including tech staff who like to work in the quiet and creative folks who prefer collaboration and conversation, it can be a good idea to have a range of zones that encourage different noise levels. Having a reasonable expectation on the sound levels in different areas also makes it easier to monitor anyone who is annoying other staff by making a level of noise that stresses people out.
Help people to understand the impact of the noise that they make
While everyone can benefit from collaboration, it can also be valuable to encourage respect for one another by using meeting rooms for loud conversations and debate. Noise-cancelling headphones can be a great option for people who like the energy of co-working but who also need to listen to audio as part of their job, such as people who create training program content. People may easily just get excited by their work and want to talk loudly without realising how their noise affects others, so simple guidelines can help everyone to monitor their own impact on noise levels. That way people can ask louder folks to move into the noise-friendly areas if they want to keep chatting, so the quieter areas can be used for focused work.
Even large groups of people from different fields can successfully share a single co-working space if the area is designed right and everyone has a good idea of how their work habits can affect everyone around them. An acoustical consultant can help you to plan the workspace and ensure that everyone can enjoy the workspace while they work.