Open-plan offices are intended to support interaction and productivity. However, the resulting acoustic environment can distract employees, contribute to workplace stress, and impair cognitive functioning. The connection between design and mental well-being is critical to examine, especially when the cost to ignore is so high. In the US, it is estimated that burnout costs an $125-190 billion per year in healthcare spending.
Designers are well versed in the physics of sound. However, by some estimates, sound volume accounts for only 25% of people’s annoyance with a noise. Psychoacoustics, or the science of sound perception, in conjunction with biophilia can help to explain why certain noises are more stress-inducing and how to leverage sound perception to enhance occupant experience.
This session has been approved for the following continuing education credits: