Noisy Offices Impact Employees’ Work

More than two-thirds of employees said noise negatively impacts their concentration levels, productivity and creativity, and the top noise distraction cited by survey respondents was conversations among employees.

The results of Global commercial flooring company Interface’s “What’s That Sound?” survey, conducted in partnership with Radius Global Market Research, reveals noise negatively impacts a majority (69%) of global employees’ concentration levels, productivity and creativity.


Across the U.S., UK and Australia, 44% of those surveyed indicate their company does nothing to address noise, leaving employees to solve the problem themselves. Potentially concerning for employers, 16% of those surveyed choose to work remotely due to unsolved noise problems, revealing the need for more touchdown areas, focus rooms and designated quiet areas for employees to retreat.


Nearly one-third (32%) of employees surveyed report working at an assigned desk or work station in an open environment. However, only 31% of all respondents indicate that employers provide private spaces for phone calls or conversations. In addition, the majority of employees who work at offices with wood, ceramic tile and concrete flooring say it is noisy at their offices (54%) compared to those who work in offices with carpeting (45%). Only 31% report their workplace uses carpeting or area rugs to mitigate noise.


The top noise distractions cited by survey respondents include:

  • Conversations among employees (71%);
  • Phone conversations (67%);
  • Phones ringing (62%); and
  • The sound of people walking around (54%).


For the full results and methodology associated with “What’s That Sound?,” visit