One distractor that can hinder your employees from performing at their highest capabilities is noise. The OSHA reports that every year, twenty-two million workers are exposed to harmful noise. They also report that in the previous year, U.S. businesses paid over $1.5 million in penalties for failing to protect their workers from noise.
Although it’s unthinkable to put an exact number to the human toll of hearing loss, it is estimated that $242 million is spent yearly on workers’ compensation for hearing loss disability.
If your employees work in an open environment like a contact center, the noise comes from all different directions and in all shapes and volumes. How do you reduce background noise in a contact center? Listed below are a few time-tested tips to reduce noise drastically.
Train employees to keep their voices down
Perhaps one of the most efficient and obvious ways to reduce noise in a contact center is to train your staff to lower their voices. In coaching and training, be sure to iterate to your employees the importance of balancing their volume levels. Teaching your staff to speak at lower volumes that are respectful to other employees will drastically reduce noise levels in the contact center.
Install white noise machines
Installing white noise features such water machines and other features can help reduce unnecessary background noise often found in a contact center. Also, adding plants and other similar features such as fabric screens and putting artwork on walls contributes to fill voided space and lessen distracting noise.
Separate employees with partitions
Installing barriers to separate employee’s desks is a very efficient manner to reduce noise levels. The more separation that can be put between employees in a contact center, effectively creating more barriers for sound to cross, the more probability there are that employees will be less distracted by noise and will have an easier time focusing on their work.
Reduce staff density
The most efficient way to reduce contact center noise is to reduce staff density. The more agents are packed into small space of an office then naturally more noise will be created. The ideal scenario is to have about 120 square feet per employee. Giving agents more room to breathe makes the contact center a more relaxed and natural feeling environment, reducing employee stress levels and in turn reducing noise levels.
Before moving forward to implement any of these tips, be sure to speak with your employees and collect their ideas on how to reduce noise levels in your company’s contact center. Your employees will often understand best where the sound comes from since they are present in the office throughout the day.
Lastly, if you know of any time-tested tips on how to reduce noise levels in a room, please share them whether they are new or old. Your contribution will help to create a better and more efficient working environment for all.