Sound absorption and insulation in open space rooms as well as between workspaces is also an important planning criteria for achieving good room acoustics in open-plan offices.
This is reflected in the new acoustic standard for open-plan offices DIN EN ISO 3382-3, which is a relatively simple concept. The use of sound absorbent ceilings, acoustic screens, ceiling sails or acoustically effective furniture fronts, significantly reduces the reverberation (echo) time and thereby also the basic noise level in office spaces. This of course has a positive effect on well-being, since it is more pleasant to work in quiet, acoustically dampened rooms.
In recent years, however, it was discovered that although low sound reverberation times are important for reducing office sound levels, they also lead to higher speech intelligibility in open-plan offices. People intuitively try to pick up any speech information that occurs around them and can thereby be distracted in their work process. The effects are poor concentration, stress and a resulting drop in performance.