Why improving your lockdown acoustics is easier than you think
With the nation set to return to home-working and home-schooling throughout January and February, we are no doubt all revisiting the question of how to make our spaces as productive as possible for the duration of lockdown.
Whether you are working from your dining room table, kitchen worktop, or home office space, it's very common for surrounding spaces to be filled with distractions, whether that is (too much or too little) background noise, family-life or perhaps just the familiar rumblings of your home.
The 2020 anthem "you're on mute' still echoes in our ears, reminding us of the importance of good acoustics, which covers everything from the tech you are using, to the space around you. So with that in mind, here are 5 easy ways to improve your lockdown acoustics.
Consider your optimal work environment. We all have different expectations of our perfect workspace, so it's important to consider how you can make the space work best for you and your at-home colleagues (whatever their age!) Be mindful of what you need, whether it's background noise, chatter, complete silence or white noise. Before getting stuck into lockdown, take a moment to work out what will make it more successful and productive for you.
Create dedicated work spaces Not always possible, but if you can create a space for yourself it will benefit your homeworking experience. If you are also home-schooling, consider allowing your children to create their perfect space too. Consider tech that can help you focus; headphones, a sign to let others know you need a quiet space, a microphone to improve video-call acoustics, or perhaps white noise.
Invest in plants They are known to absorb sound, benefiting acoustics by reducing the reverberation time as sound bounces off hard surfaces. Create clusters of plants around your work space, and then position larger plants in plant pots near to the edges of the room. Not to mention the fact that plants also positively impact productivity, air quality and wellbeing!
Check your furnishings Take a look at your surrounding space and ensure that at least one of any parallel pair of surfaces is absorbent. Rugs, curtains, wall hangings, textured light fittings, bookcases can all help to break up and absorb sound waves, making your space a more pleasurable place to be.
Allow the fresh air in. As we work from home, it's easy to lose track of time and the benefit of stepping outside your workspace. Not only is fresh air good for concentration, but opening windows is the perfect sound absorber - assuming you don't live near a busy road! (If you do experience noise from outside, we can help you with ideas for how best to sound proof your space!)
If you have tried these tips and still experience acoustic issues, you may want to consider something more permanent, such as panel absorbers, or acoustic plaster. But in many cases, your overall wellbeing and enjoyment of spaces can be improved by firstly understanding your current acoustic situation!
As we transition into this next lockdown, we are on hand to chat through acoustic solutions. Not only are we experts in sound, but we are also incredibly passionate about the impact of acoustics on wellbeing, so do give us a call if you need help or advice.