Many Americans have embraced working from home, and while this way of working may have reduced commuting stress and created new sustainability benefits, there are other work-related difficulties. One of them being unwanted noise during virtual meetings and a lack of focus.
But with proper planning, the right furnishings, and decor, these problems can be avoided. In this guide, you will find the best strategies to help reduce noise in your home office and as always, if you’re a renter, check with your landlord before making any modifications to your home.
1. Soundproof The Door
You don’t have to replace your home office door – usually, it’s a case of simply sealing each crack or gap where sound can creep in. Firstly, determine where your cracks are by checking the door’s perimeter for visible gaps. Next, speak at a normal volume in your home office to see if the rest of the house can hear you.
To soundproof your home office door, you can use a door seal or sweep to stop noise from traveling through the gap between the door and the floor. Another way to soundproof your home office is by installing a thicker threshold using a neoprene seal kit.
2. Soundproof The Windows
Even in the quietest areas, it’s still easy to pick up noise outside your home office windows. Here’s some options for soundproofing:
- Use Weatherstrip tape to create an air-tight seal between the window and the frame.
- Add window inserts to block outside noise.
- Buy Acoustic Caulk to seal any gaps.
- Install Acoustic Curtains.
Window inserts work by blocking outside noise in your existing windows and can block up to 70% of the noise.
Soundproof or acoustic curtains are made from mass-loaded vinyl and work by blocking air vents. These special types of curtains can reduce outside noise by up to 80%.
Because curtains tick three boxes, they’re a common method of soundproofing windows. Curtains dress your home office effectively and provide excellent soundproofing and acoustic treatment whilst ensuring you can be heard using your workplace’s cloud collaboration tools.
3. Soundproof The Floor
To soundproof your floor effectively, first, figure out exactly where the noise is coming from. It might be airborne noise like TV, speaking, or music, or impact noise like footsteps.
Whether you’re an apartment renter or a homeowner, check out these easy ways to soundproof your home office floor:
- Interlocking floor mats to absorb the sound of footsteps and items dropping on the floor.
- Carpet padding to absorb vibrations and sound.
- A thick rug will help to absorb a lot of your home office noise and offers coziness at the same time!
- Floor underlayment goes under laminate flooring to reduce sound.
4. Soundproof The Air Vents
Don’t forget about soundproofing the air vents in your home office.
As air vents are the largest holes for noise to pass through, soundproofing them is key to reducing noise in your home office. You can either insulate the air vent with soundproof expanding foam or sound-absorbing material or create a sound maze into the vent to minimize echo.
To build a sound maze into your air vents, measure the air vent size and cut a piece of plywood to fit the interior. To allow air to travel through the vent, leave 30 percent of the top free.
All these methods will reduce the amount of noise while ensuring continuous airflow in the office.
5. Add Art
Canvas art or vibrant acoustic panels make your home office look great and reduce echo.
Explore different canvas art to find the best art to suit your style and to match existing home office furniture.
Your other option is acoustic panels, which are egg-carton-shaped foam sidings. Typically, acoustic panels are covered with a layer of cloth, allowing you to achieve a minimal and smart office look while reducing noise.
6. Use Acoustic Paint
Acoustic paint is a fast-drying, water-based paint containing sound-absorbing fillers to reduce background noise.
Acoustic paint works best for normal and mid-range sound frequencies, which is typically the range of people talking. A typical acoustic paint can reduce the transmission of sound by 2-4 decibels per coat. The standard application for acoustic paint is three coats per wall – so the total sound reduction can reach between 6-12 decibels.
7. Add Soft Furnishings
Sofas, cushions, blankets, curtains, and rugs are all great sound-reducing assets.
Depending on the amount of space in your home office, adding soft furnishings like chairs and sofas also work to absorb sound. The bonus of this is that your office looks great when you’re presenting stand-up meeting tips to your team.
Recommendations For Reducing Noise in Different Spaces
If your home office is a studio apartment, you may be plagued by noisy traffic or neighbor-related sounds. Sound leaks sourcing from shared walls can be reduced by putting a solid bookcase against the wall. Also, consider hanging door curtains over your front door to eliminate external noises.
Sound-absorbing panels attached to the walls in 1-bedroom spaces are beneficial to noise reduction, especially those made from noise-dampening materials such as cork, polyester fiber, and soft foam rubber.
Reduce Noise, Work Smarter
The strategies we’ve covered will help reduce the noise in your home office. Depending on your setup, you may need a combination of soundproofing strategies.
A peaceful home office environment enables you to carry out your typical workflow processes without distraction or interruption from the rest of the house.
About the Writer:
Jenna Bunnell – Senior Manager, Content Marketing, Dialpad
Jenna Bunnell is the Senior Manager for Content Marketing at Dialpad, a hybrid work software with AI-incorporated cloud-hosted unified communications system that provides valuable call details for business owners and sales representatives. She is driven and passionate about communicating a brand’s design sensibility and visualizing how content can be presented in creative and comprehensive ways and has shared her thoughts on platforms like Paved and PushFar. Check out her LinkedIn profile.