How many times have you tried to concentrate on your project, but couldn’t because the person next to you simply wouldn’t stop making noise? How many times the noise pollution around you has cost you the best project of your career?
The answer is, sadly, several times.
Noise pollution is the demon which is omnipresent in major metropolitan cities and inside our premises. It is hidden amidst the crowd – the honking vehicles, the loudspeakers, the sound of a large crowd and more.
However, what is not understood and grasped by the layman people is the effect noise can cause on productivity. Excess noise is known to cause havoc in the minds of people, resulting in the declining rate of concentration and mental stability.
Let’s start with some statistics.
Noise is always measured in decibels (dB).
A normal conversation is somewhere around 60 dB.
A machine used in the garden or a loudspeaker can range from 90 – 120 dB.
Noise pollution is generally considered to begin at 45dB, where a person cannot rest.
Now the person right next to your cubicle is constantly talking and chatting for 8 hours straight, can you imagine the level of noise pollution and most importantly, the rate of exposure you are open to?
1. Loud people and loud noise around you can break the concentration level which does not allow you to work smoothly on your project. This makes you, unfortunately, as unproductive as the cause of the noise.
A case like this can cause you your health stability, mental peace, working proficiency and excellent results.
2. A company can have DGs installed inside the company premises or placed right next to the openings to a building. This can cause the noise to seep in the building, increasing the levels, manifold times.
Typical ear damage due to noise begins generally at 85 dB. Which is why the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) recommends that the noise to which the workers are exposed to should be less than or equal to 85 dB for 8 hours.
Noise-Induced Hearing Loss (NIHL) is lately increasing due to the rising commotion in the office and household premise. NIHL, sadly, goes unnoticed in majority cases due to the gradual signs and symptoms which show up over a period of years.
This disorder occurs due to an exposure to loud noise for a long period of time. Symptoms like not hearing someone as close as 3 feet, a sense of numbness and a tingling feeling are signs of NIHL.
3. The placing and the infrastructure of the office building can be a major source of noise pollution. Highways, railways, industries using loud machinery, public grounds, loudspeakers, can cause an increased level of noise pollution entering the premises. The constant exposure or noise levels more than the prescribed limits can, over the course of time, reduce the overall productivity of the people, thereby, reducing the company revenue and ROI.
Increasing noise can be a cause of psychological disorders. People in offices are generally under a lot of stress due to one or many causes like erratic deadlines, unprofessional workers, strict bosses and inefficient working environment. With the addition of high levels of noise leading to pollution, the person can develop anxiety, mental instability, depression, irritation, anger, etc.
Physiological disorders like increased or decreased blood pressure, heart disorders, bizarre hormonal levels and so on, are generally caused due to long-term exposure to noise.
The Solutions to Noise Pollution?
1. Do not set up your office close to noise sources.
2. Get your environment checked to identify the level of noise in and around the premise.
3. Once identified, set up noise cancellation devices to ensure least possible noise enters the building.
4. Ask people to refrain from loud conversations and use of disturbing cell phone ringtones.
5. The signs and symptoms should be identified from any previous exposure and immediate medical treatment and counseling should be in order.
Noise Pollution can be extremely harmful to the growth of a company, its revenue, the annual turnover and the ROI. Which is why, companies should take immediate precautionary and remedial steps to minimize noise pollution around the premise.
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