How to Improve the Acoustics in Your Hybrid Meeting Spaces

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What do you think about when you hear the word "acoustics?" Probably a concert hall where an artist is performing. Maybe the movie theater? How about a recording studio?

Well, you're right. Acoustics are part and parcel of all these places. However, there are other spaces where the acoustics are important, like your company's hybrid meeting spaces.

Poor acoustics can ruin a concert experience. Similarly, they could result in frustrating meetings where you can't hear your coworkers handing out important instructions on a Monday morning.

What are acoustics?

Acoustics refers to the quality of sound in a room. The better a room’s acoustics, the better the sound.

Sometimes in meeting rooms, the aesthetics are prioritized over the acoustics- but remember that the two aren’t mutually exclusive. A well-done meeting room makeover will include all the latest technology and superb acoustics without sacrificing the interior design of the room. It’s important to strike a balance while still ensuring that the meeting space fulfills its main function: ensure clear communication between the whole team, whether they’re in-person or remote.

The acoustics in your boardroom significantly impact how productive your meetings are. Poor acoustics can be a cumbersome barrier limiting the ability to listen and retain information.

In fact, research shows that 95% of office-goers and corporate executives experience audio-related problems at work. Poor acoustics can lead to lower levels of concentration and inefficiency at work. As the study says: “Bad audio is bad business.”

Let’s talk about collaboration equity

A hybrid work model necessitates a balanced harmony between face-to-face and online communication, so you might need to get inventive when looking for methods to keep everyone interested, engaged, and participating equally.

Most successful companies, like Google, pay attention to “collaboration equity,” focusing on three main pillars to facilitate healthy participation and meeting efficacy:

  • Representation equity
  • Participation equity
  • Information equity

So, how do I improve my meeting room acoustics?

Hybrid meeting collaboration equity is of the utmost importance, as it allows everyone in the meeting — physically present or remote — to be equally involved. And hybrid meeting room acoustics are an essential part of it.

Fortunately, we’ve got you (and your meetings) covered.

Here are a few tips to improve the acoustics in your meeting space:

  1. Use sound-absorbing materials. Sound-absorbing materials like carpets, curtains, and cushions can help absorb soundwaves and reduce echo in your meeting room. You can opt for acoustic panels on the walls if you want professional sound absorbers.
  2. Try to avoid hard surfaces. Hard surfaces like glass, marble, and graphite reflect sounds quite easily, letting sound bounce across the room and making it difficult to hear others. Instead, go for soft wall and floor paneling like leather or suede.
  3. Make sure there is plenty of ventilation. A lack of ventilation prevents air and sound from passing in and out of your meeting environment. Not only will this make the room feel stuffy, but it can lead to excessive noise levels and poor acoustics. If you hire the right professionals, you can plan your meeting space designs smartly and circumvent the amount of sound coming in while making sure there’s enough sound going out.
  4. Use conference phones and microphones. “Can you hear me?” is a phrase you probably hear a few times every time you get on a Zoom call. Poor audio planning can lead to time-wasting and lapses in concentration. The solution lies in conference phones and dedicated microphones that can help improve your meeting’s audio quality. However, don’t just go out and pick up the first set of microphones you can find. Microphones come in different shapes and sizes and serve different purposes. Make sure you get the right microphone for your meeting space.

Get professional help from AV Planners

If you’re having trouble improving the acoustics in your meeting room, it may be helpful to consult a professional acoustic engineer.

Meet AV Planners. We have the right personnel to help you create an acoustically treated  meeting room designed for the highest levels of collaboration and productivity.

We’ve worked with many satisfied clients across various industries to set up the ideal hybrid workspace according to your needs.

Contact us today to learn more about how we can take your meeting room acoustics to the next level!

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