Field study for the evaluation of the acoustic quality of open-plan offices



Even if the global health crisis is currently changing the work organisation in offices in the service industry, the problem of noise in open plan offices remains a major challenge with regard to occupational health and well-being. Since 2012, the French National Research and Safety Institute for the Prevention of Occupational Accidents and Diseases (INRS) has been carrying out acoustic surveys in French open-plan offices by measuring both some usual indicators of empty offices (Tr, D2S, Lp4m, rc, Lp) and also the ambient noise levels in activity. In addition, GABO questionnaires have been proposed to employees to assess their perception of the noise environment. So far, 50 open spaces were evaluated, with more or less data collected depending on the situation encountered. Approximately 1,400 employees have already answered the questionnaire. All of the sites visited cover the entire set of activities described by the ISO 22955 standard. An analysis of the links between the acoustic parameters and the perception of employees was carried out. This analysis provides additional information to the studies on the choice of acoustic descriptors and on the use of sound masking systems that aim to control background noise to reduce noise disturbance due to intelligible conversations.