Fleurop Nederland has a call centre where employees help customers send flowers. Due to the poor acoustic environment in the office, it was difficult to give customers the attention they deserve over the phone. Fleurop decided to improve the sound environment and the results were impressive.
Results after improvements showed that:
Perceived noise levels were reduced by 50%
Speech clarity increased significantly
"It’s easier to concentrate now. We work more quietly. Since the changes I have noticed that my productivity has increased and I can work calmly. We are all more relaxed and more productive. It really is a world of difference." (Employee at Fleurop)
In an open-plan call centre many people are on the phone at the same time. If the office only has hard reflective surfaces covering the ceiling, walls and floor, this means a lot of speech is bouncing in every direction, creating a high level of background noise. People automatically raise their voices to be heard above the noise. This in turn leads to even higher noise levels and very poor speech clarity over the phone.
The most important aspect of any solution to this problem is to keep sound from spreading. At Fleurop, this was achieved by using a highly sound-absorbing ceiling to lower sound levels and reduce sound propagation, wall absorbers to minimise reverberation and desk screens to reduce disturbance between desks.
… although the intensity has doubled, the noise level is almost halved. The result is better than expected and Ecophon can be proud of that.
Tom Bouwhuis, building physics consultant at M+P
Fleurop Nederland is part of the Interflora group and is located in Veenendaal, the Netherlands. The company has 40 employees and the open-plan office has an area of 86 m².
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