Following London Design Week 2016, we caught up with Buzzispace to find out what challenges businesses are facing when it comes to the acoustic environment and how this can affect workplace productivity.
James Hutchinson from Buzzispace shared his thoughts with us.
What challenges do you see that are businesses facing today?
An interesting challenge businesses are experiencing at the moment is acoustics in open plan offices as well as meeting spaces. One of the key drivers for this has been the need for organizations to increases their collaboration spaces. Companies are removing walls and doors to open up their workspace so people can interact with one another more easily. But the biggest problem that we’re finding now is that buildings are losing their acoustic privacy. So controlling noise build-up has been a key issue.
Particularly from a video conferencing (vc) point of view, as it's become more scalable, people are now using software systems on their laptops, mobile phones and other ways to hold audio and video conference meetings. But the office space no longer supports that, and it doesn't provide an acoustic environment that's not aggressive to video conferencing.
Call quality is very poor for both people making and receiving the call, which can quite simply be resolved with some architectural acoustics.
How should businesses be adapting their workplaces for the future?
There is a massive need for simplicity like plug and play. People expect to be able to connect off their phone, lap top or tablet device, expecting superior video quality, exceptional audio quality.
One common ground where we're seeing problems occurring is that the physical office spaces used to make these kinds of calls, just are not adequate. Businesses are setting up collaborative videoconferencing environments in the middle of an open plan office.
So for the future I expect more scalability, more ease of use and more problems with acoustics. What I'd like people to consider is the narrative and language to talk about sound and reverberation with their IT or AV integrators, so they're able to have a more informed conversation about what the sound issues are.
It’s become a more hostile environment for acoustics to work with and we just need to increase the education level.