Our experts have spoken before about the importance of good office acoustic solutions but what we haven’t covered yet is how to translate this advice when it comes to working from home. As the Coronavirus lockdown continues, we want to show you how you can soundproof your home office with some quick, easy, inexpensive solutions.
Soundproofing a workspace at home can be a pretty extensive project when time, budget and access to supplies are no object. You can go full-force with your home office fit out by addressing structural elements (walls, ceilings, doors etc) and investing in sate-of-the-art products such as acoustic furniture.
However, as many of us find ourselves thrust into the working from home life as a result of guidelines around the spread of COVID-19, time, money and supplies are limited. So, if you’ve got babies screaming, dogs barking, kids playing and other family members taking phone calls all day long and you’re struggling with audio distraction as a result, it’s time to think outside the box.
Shield air vents (but don’t block them)
A sneaky way sound vibrations can enter your workspace is through the gaps in any air vents so covering these up is a great way to reduce trespassing noise. When doing this though, it’s important to make sure you don’t completely block any vents as they are instrumental in improving indoor air quality. Avoid barricading vents with things like bookshelves or other heavy furniture and instead, loosely stand things in between you and the vent like storage boxes, books, folders or pull-away furniture.
Seal any holes you might have in the walls
No matter how small, any holes in the walls of your home office or workspace will be allowing excess noise to travel through. While you’ve got a little extra time on your hands at home, schedule in some DIY to repair any cracks and crevices that might be letting the din of daily life leak in.
Introduce some soft furnishings and rugs
These days, it’s trendy to have hard flooring surfaces such as solid wood, tiles or laminate but while these might look Pinterest-perfect, they’re not so great when it comes to noise control. In fact, hard flooring can exacerbate the problem as sound vibrations reflect off the surface, creating an unpleasant echo. Limit this by including some cushions, soft seating and plush rugs as part of your home office interior design scheme to help absorb unsolicited sound waves.
Decorate the walls with canvas artwork
Walls are also hard surfaces which sound vibrations can easily bounce off and create echo-like excess noise when there’s a lot going on around you. When installing sound insulation panels isn’t an option, pinning some canvas art work up on the wall – or a cork board – is a great way to put some sound-absorbing distance between you and your audio distractions.
Use a draft excluder in front of the door
If you have a draft excluder at your disposal then make sure you’re using it by placing it in front of your (closed) workspace door. It will block any chills getting into the space but also dampen any outside noise. If you don’t have a purpose-built draft excluder to hand, use a rolled up blanket, folded towels or some cushions to plug the gap between the door and the floor.
Download a white noise app
Last but not least, install a white noise app on your phone or computer and play this into the room when you’re trying to concentrate. There are a whole host of white noise generation apps available for both iPhone and Android, all of which create a less distracting, more calming sound to block out any background commotion.