Noise, Health and Work

2 minutes de lecture

What is noise? It is sound perceived by our hearing as a nuisance. These sounds can be harmful to our health if they are too loud or too frequent. Noise affects our body in various ways depending on the type and strength of the nuisance.

Noise and its health risks

  • Effects on hearing: Excessive noise can cause permanent or temporary hearing loss.
  • Effects on physical health: Prolonged exposure to high noise levels can lead to cardiovascular disorders (blood pressure, heart disease, and digestive disorders).
  • Effects on mental health: Noise can cause anxiety, stress, irritability, frustration, and fatigue. Thus, noise disrupts concentration, productivity, and work quality.
  • Effects on sleep quality: Unwanted noise disrupts sleep, which can lead to daytime drowsiness, fatigue, decreased concentration, and work accidents.

Nowadays, there are regulations in many countries regarding acceptable noise levels in the workplace, as well as standards for hearing protection of workers. Employers are required to provide a safe and healthy work environment, including minimizing excessive noise.

And what about offices ?

Nowadays, “the notions of well-being or ill-being of employees are perceived by companies and all stakeholders as a strong management issue (…) Safety, health, well-being, quality of life at work and improvement of working conditions are areas where employee expectations are high in a context of transformation of companies,” according to Jean-Marie Peretti (Health, Safety, Well-being and Quality of Life at Work – 2019).

Because to be a benchmark employer, companies must now ensure the well-being, health, and safety of their employees. The link between well-being at work and efficiency and performance is now undeniable.

According to a study by the University of California at Irvine, workers who are interrupted by sound distractions take longer to complete their tasks and are more likely to make mistakes. On the other hand, workers who work in a quiet work environment have higher productivity and better quality work.


These solutions allow companies to control their sound environment and create healthier and safer working conditions for their employees. Be careful not to confuse soundproofing and acoustic correction!

Thus, in order not to create discomfort between different spaces, and sometimes for reasons of confidentiality, it is necessary to improve sound insulation.

For example, these solutions can include the construction of soundproof partitions, double-walled ceilings, and the installation of soundproof doors.

In open-plan offices and large open spaces (such as reception halls, cafeterias, etc.), it is possible to correct the acoustics of the space and reduce excessive reverberation, a major source of discomfort for workers.

For example, this can be achieved by installing false ceilings with sound-absorbing tiles, installing acoustic-absorbing panels on walls or ceilings, using acoustic separators or appropriate furniture (carpets, curtains, etc.). There are many solutions!

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