COVID-19 forced people to work from home. As the initial shock wore off and the dust began to settle, many of us found ourselves in our new work areas asking: “How do I soundproof a home office?” 

Here we’ll share with you the best tips and a video guide on how to soundproof a home office. When setting up your home office, consider noises coming from both outside of and inside your home. We cover both types here to make sure your office is soundproof and a comfortable place to work.

home office with door and large window with work space and various noise-absorbing decorations

Tips for a Soundproof Home Office

How to Soundproof an Office

  • Create a dedicated work space with a door that closes
  • Determine where the sound is coming from: the source of the sound is important to help you determine if you should be targeting sound absorption inside the office, or sound reduction outside of the office
  • How you can absorb inside noise in an office:
    • Adding an area rug and plush furniture
    • Wall art or acoustic panels
    • Door snakes
  • How you can reduce outside noise in an office:
    • Sealing air leaks with caulk or weather stripping is a fast, cheap way to soundproof
    • Adding window inserts is a great way to help your underperforming windows block sound

Every “working from home tips” article discusses the technology you need to complete your work and stay connected. They warn of distractions, suggesting you keep them away. But studies show that soundproofing is directly linked to productivity. As is creative thinking, and health. Aside from that, have you encountered a work call interrupted by a child’s scream yet? You will. Make sure it’s not yours.


Watch Tips on How to Soundproof a Home Office


Make Yourself at Home in Your Dedicated Workspace

A dedicated work space will make you feel collected, calm, and ready to work. All you really need is a good chair, a flat surface, and good lighting. Ideally, you also have a door to close. This also gives you the opportunity to soundproof your home office.

There are two types of soundproofing: reduction and absorption. Noise coming from outside your home needs sound reduction, which reduces sound coming into your home. Sound absorption reduces echo by absorbing sounds created inside your home.


Office Soundproofing from Noise Inside Your House

man & child in home office: stacked artwork against the wall helps absorb noise from adjacent rooms

It’s safe to say that the sources of noise inside your home, such as a puppy, or partner on their own conference call, are far more pleasant to our ears and hearts than traffic or construction from the outside. Nonetheless, it’s important to soundproof your office against these noises. Fortunately, soundproofing with noise reduction materials is easy to do, and the solutions are cost-effective!

Use an area rug. It doesn’t just make you look classy, it also helps soundproof your home office. Adding thick materials, like rugs, plush furniture, wall art, or even acoustic panels help keep noise in the rest of your home from disturbing your dedicated work space. Door snakes and door sweeps also keep small noises from swooping through the air between your office door and floor. There are plenty of stylish sound-blocking office dividers to choose from, and they’re not only good options for an open plan office. Placing these next to walls helps reduce noise coming in from other rooms.

Dampen equipment that vibrates along with passing music or noisy neighbors. This article from Popular Mechanics outlines everything you need to secure (vibration-wise) or build for soundproofing a room. These tips are especially helpful for anyone who has to record audio or video at home.


Soundproofing Home Office to Outside Noise

traffic outside of apartment window: outside noise needs sound-blocking items such as window inserts

Check for any air leaks around the room. Sound travels by air, and you can fix most by adding caulk and weatherstripping. Adding wall insulation is always helpful, but a big project.

Add office window soundproofing. The biggest reduction in outside noise with the best cost efficiency is window inserts. They allow you to block outside noise by installing them in your existing windows (rather than replacing your windows or opening your wall for insulation). Indow inserts block up to 70% of outside noise as soon as you press them into place. 

Extra bonus: your home office still has plenty of natural light (as opposed to using sound-blocking curtains) and they help with temperature control to keep you comfortable.


How do Soundproofing Windows Work?

Window inserts are made of the best sound absorbing materials. They put an extra layer between you and the noise. Indow uses acrylic because it absorbs sound better than glass. The acrylic is surrounded by compression tubing to create a seal in your window frame. This creates a dead air space between the acrylic panel and your window, which also helps stop noise from entering your space.

woman next to large bookshelf installing Indow window insert: sound-absorbing vs sound-blocking

Sound-blocking curtains also reduce noise, but not as much as window inserts because they do not create a seal, and they also make your home office very dark. Natural light helps our mood, eases stress, and increases productivity.

Adding window inserts is like adding another pane of glass to your window, but with a better sound absorbing materials and an extra large gap between them. Plus, you can remove it at any time with no damage done to your window frames.


Soundproof Your Office to Help Existing Systems

Indow has always relied on RingCentral to let sick coworkers or distant partners join in on important meetings. Now that we’re all working from our homes, that convenience has turned into a daily need to keep business functioning. No matter how much RingCentral adjusts to the times, if our meetings are stopped every few minutes by barking dogs, neighbors, or even our partners’ meeting in the other room, we don’t get much done. Soundproofing for remote meetings is essential – there’s only so much the mute button can handle.

It’s time to prepare our own spaces for the long haul. Chances are, our home office is going to remain our dedicated work space for a while. We can’t control how loud our neighbors are, but we can control our day to day comfort and how we manage our space. If you learn how to soundproof a home office, you are controlling your environment and choosing a healthier work space. We give you permission to elect yourself employee of the month.

Learn more about how to soundproof your home office with window inserts.

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