Ambient office noise can dramatically increase one's productivity and ability to concentrate. The methods to soundproof an office will depend on a variety of factors, including where the office is located and the ability to make structural changes. Before using any of these tips make sure they are allowable by your landlord or boss.
Things You'll Need
- Medium-density fiberboard door
- Soundproofing mat
- Loaded curtain barrier
- Replacement window
- Soundproofing material
Soundproof your door. Many offices will come standard with a hollow door that will do little to block sound from outside. Use a door with medium-density fiber, which will be heavier and block sound much more effectively. Make sure the door closes tightly, and if you need to, use a door sweep screwed to the bottom. This is a metal piece with rubber attached to the bottom — put it at a level so the rubber sweeps against the floor. If you have other doorways that do not have frames, you can use a heavy curtain to soundproof it.
Replace windows. If the glass on your window is single paned, replace it with glass with more panes. This should result in a dramatic sound reduction. You may also use plastic to cover each side of the window, which will not be as effective, but will be more affordable and less hassle. If sound control is priority over lighting, use a soundproof mat to cover the window.
Caulk around gaps in drywall. Check ducts and sockets, any areas where the drywall has been penetrated, and caulk any spaces where air may pass through.
Soundproof walls. You will have to tear holes into the walls and install strips of felt that will absorb surrounding sound. A variety of insulation materials exist, including cotton, viscoelastic and fiberglass. Add the materials between the studs and generally in any open space.
Use headphones. While this is not technically a soundproofing solution, using music or other audio to block sound could be an effective way to shield ambient sound.