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Journal Article

I can still hear you! Noise and noise prevention in offices
AuthorGroen, B.H. ; Ehring, C.
Published in
Vol. Jahrgang (2016), Issue 13, page 35-47
PublishedWien : Technische Universität Wien, 2017
Elektronische Ressource
KeywordsNoise level / distraction / employee wellbeing / anxiety-comfort
URNurn:nbn:at:at-ubtuw:4-2455 Persistent Identifier (URN)
Download Groen BH Ehring C I can still hear you! Noise and noise prevention in offices [4.85 mb]
Abstract (English)

The most important distraction in open plan offices is noise. Noise distraction decreases performances, causes stress and lowers job-specific wellbeing. Personality may play a role, as extraverts and introverts have been reported to react differently to noisy environments that cause higher levels of arousal. However, it is unclear whether these effects of noise affect age groups in a different way. Therefore, this study has investigated the effect of noise on affective employee wellbeing, namely anxiety-comfort, taking into account personal characteristics(age, gender, level of extraversion). In a case study organisation a pilot was set up to measure noise levels in an open plan office; noise levels were measured for five consecutive days, and employees were asked to report on personal characteristics(gender, age, extraversion) as well as anxiety and comfort, at the start of the day, at noon, and at the end of the day. Regression analysis showed that noise levels influenced anxiety, and comfort(in the morning only); results were controlled for age group, gender and extraversion. These results confirm the negative effect of noise on employees' wellbeing. As employees are reluctant to use headphones to reduce noise distraction, a pilot with noise reduction panels will be started to reduce noise and increase job-specific wellbeing.