Is noise a reason workers resist returning to the office?

Photo credit: Nicola Barts from Pexels

by Daniel Fink, MD, Chair, The Quiet Coalition

Is noise rage contributing to worker resistance to returning to the office after working from home during the COVID lockdowns?

This report from the National News, United Arab Emirates, suggests that noise could be a factor. A survey by the technology firm Poly of more than 7,000 workers in the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Sweden, Poland, and the UAE found that noise concerns were a problem.

We don’t know if this is an issue in the United States–no American workers were surveyed–but we do know that office noise, especially in open floor plan offices (a.k.a. cubicle farms) has been a longstanding issue. Employers might also want to be aware that in addition to bothering workers, office noise decreases productivity. And that’s something most employers do not want.

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