Noise in the workplace is not only a hazard, it’s also a real pain. Trying to concentrate in a workplace where music is playing, people are talking, or loud machinery is consistently running is nearly impossible. Of course, the hazards of noise in the workplace can have massive implications on your health as well as your stress levels.
Noise can cause long-term hearing problems including tinnitus. Tinnitus is a horrible condition that can leave you with a ringing in your ears forever. There’s been at least one case of someone with tinnitus committing suicide because they couldn’t take the ringing any longer. Clearly, this is a condition to avoid!
So whether the noise in your workplace is causing you to get annoyed, or if it could eventually cause a long-term hearing problem, the tips below should help you to combat the noise and allow you to get on with your work in peace. Whether you’re responsible for finding noise solutions, or a hardworking staff member looking for some peace, there is a tip below for you.
How to reduce noise in the workplace
1. Use noise-cancelling headphones
Always ask your manager before shoving headphones on your head, as there may be health and safety requirements that mean you can’t wear them. However, if you can wear headphones, buy some noise-cancelling ones. They aren’t that expensive but do an excellent job of taking out background noise.
Noise-cancelling headphones work great in offices, but they are also invaluable in factories. The constant hum of machines can often cause distractions and hearing problems. However, the use of noise-cancelling headphones can put a stop to all of that.
If you work in a factory, noise-cancelling headphones can save your ears and let you catch up on your favourite songs or podcasts. Just remember, don’t turn them up too loud, otherwise, you haven’t really achieved much in the way of reducing the noise.
2. Wear ear plugs
If you can’t wear headphones, try ear plugs instead. Headphones get a bad rap with managers because they think that they distract people. Ear plugs don’t have this stigma. A set of ear plugs don’t cost the earth but provide you with some amazing peace and quiet even in the busiest and nosiest working environments.
We recommended buying some quality ear plugs. Remember, you may be wearing them a lot, so you want to be comfortable. There are many quality ear plugs available that can mould to your ears and help you switch the noisy workplace off for a while. A quality set of ear plugs are perfect for the factory, but they also work great in the office too.
3. Ear defenders
Ear defenders may appear odd in an office environment, and are more popular in factories and industrial settings. Ear defenders look a lot like noise-cancelling headphones, but they don’t play music (unless they’re radio ear defenders).
They don’t cancel out all noise, but they do a great job at keeping all annoying noises to a low hum. They can keep factory workers ears safe and protected from the noisy machinery around them, and office workers can use them to drown out the noise at the busy times of day.
Once again, get a good set of ear defenders. They are going to be your pride and joy, and you may wear them for years, so they need to be comfortable and keep the noise down for that whole time.
If you are responsible for keeping the noise low in your workspace, buying a good set of ear defenders for every staff member won’t lower the noise, but it will lower the team’s risk of hearing problems in the future. See these recommended industrial ear defenders.
4. Use a white noise machine
You may think that this is a little over the top, but office noise is a massive issue for some people that have found comfort in using a white noise machine. White noise machines are not that expensive, and they can help a lot of your staff at once.
White noise machines work particularly well in offices that are attached to a factory. These spaces are often designed as spaces of quiet, but the machine noise through the wall makes them anything but quiet!
The white noise will help to drain out all the other noise going on in the workplace. If you are the manager of an industrial office building, a white noise machine may be the answer to all of your prayers. They can drown out the machine noise and ensure your staff can get their work done without distractions.
5. Use a conference room for meetings
Many companies save their conference rooms for the most important meetings and then take staff meetings on the factory floor or in a bustling office. Doing this can mean that anyone not involved in the meeting can become very distracted and annoyed because of the noise while they are trying to work. Also, with machines running in the background, the factory workers may not be able to hear you or get distracted by their machine needing their attention.
If you have a conference room, use it. Take the team into the conference room and have the meeting in there. You will often find that the meeting is more productive because the staff are often more engaged. They won’t be distracted by their machines or computers, and they will listen to what you have to say.
To find out more about hearing protection, please explore our website further. We have plenty of information on here that can help you protect your ears at home and at work.