Working From Home or From The Office? The Noise Factor

Amancay Tapia
Photo by Arina Krasnikova from Pexels

During the pandemic more and more employers realised their workers could actually do the same amount of work they do in the office from the comfort of their homes and by doing so, saving them a lot of money on energy bills.

For many, working from home is not an option. Doctors,nurses, police officers, teachers, cleaners, dustbin collectors,cooks, and so on can’t work from home but for millions of office workers worldwide and particularly in the Western world, working from home has now become the new normal.

And whereas some at home workers miss the hustle and bustle of the office environment or the socialising with colleagues in person, others feel blessed that they no longer have to put up with office politics altogether. However, there is one problem many employers and society in general ignore when it comes to working from home, noise.

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic when millions of people worldwide were working from home, many were struggling with noise. Former U.S. secretary of state Madeleine Albright used to say that “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other women”. For those of us who have ever experienced living with noisy neighbours, I would say that there is a special place in hell for noisy neighbours, their music and their lack of consideration for others.

Even if you live in an old home,particularly in a flat in an apartment block, walls are usually thin and you can literally hear it all, even their phone conversations. So imagine working from home when the neighbour decides it's time to play their favourite music for all to hear. Yes, they are obnoxious and inconsiderate.

However, even offices can be noisy, especially those with open plan office interiors or offices in the middle of busy roads in big cities. Acoustic panels are a must in many offices and they help greatly to reduce the noise levels. They can also help those of us who enjoy peace and quiet at home. If the neighbour has the music blasting you will still hear it and best thing to do is always to contact the noise police if there is one where you live, but they will certainly help when it comes to reducing everyday living noises that can drive us crazy when we are trying to concentrate.

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