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Effect of noise on comfort in open-plan offices: application of an assessment questionnaire.

Authors
  • Perrin Jegen, N1
  • Chevret, P1
  • 1 a Institut National de Recherche et de Sécurité , Vandœuvre Les Nancy Cedex , France. , (France)
Type
Published Article
Journal
Ergonomics
Publication Date
Jan 01, 2017
Volume
60
Issue
1
Pages
6–17
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2016.1172737
PMID: 27049648
Source
Medline
Keywords
License
Unknown

Abstract

Open-plan offices account for 60% of French office workspaces. The noise levels recorded in this type of environment are much lower than those encountered in industrial workplaces. Nevertheless, surveys show that noise is considered by employees as the main source of discomfort. A first questionnaire dedicated to noise discomfort was produced in 2013 and tested on a panel made up of 217 people working in 7 French companies. Today, it also makes it possible to address the issues of fatigue related to ambient sound, but above all, the survey aims to study the differences in how ambient noise is perceived depending on the type of open-plan office. On the basis of that new version, a second survey has been conducted in 23 open-plan offices, making it possible to collect the responses from 617 employees. Most of the results of the first survey have been confirmed, with an increase in the significance of the statistical analyses. Moreover, French Standard NF S 31-199, which is currently being drafted, establishes a typology of open-plan office spaces according to the types of work done in them. Based on this typology, it appears that when dealing with the impact on noise on workers, a distinction has to be made between the types of open plan offices. Practitioner Summary: Surveys conducted in open-plan offices show that noise is considered by employees as the main source of discomfort even if the noise recorded in this type of environment is not hazardous. This work presents the result of a large survey dedicated to noise discomfort conducted in 23 open-plan offices.

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