Open plan office noise is stressful: Multimodal stress detection in a simulated work environment

Elizabeth J Sander, Oliver Baumann, Cecelia Marques, James R. Birt, Matthew Stead

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstractResearchpeer-review


Covid-induced changes in the workplace present a timely opportunity for human resource management practitioners to consider and remediate the deleterious effects of noise, a commonly cited complaint of employees working in open-plan office environments. There is little experimental
research comprehensively investigating the effects of noise on employees in terms of their cognitive performance, physiological indicators of stress, and affect. Employing a simulated office setting, we compared the effects of a typical open-plan office auditory environment to a quieter private office auditory environment on a range of objective and subjective measures of well-being and performance.
While open plan office noise did not reduce immediate cognitive task performance compared to the quieter environment, it did reduce psychological well-being as evidenced by self-reports of mood, facial expressions of emotion, and physiological indicators of stress in the form of heartrate and skin conductivity. Our research highlights the importance of using a multimodal approach to assess the impact of workplace stressors such as noise.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Oct 2021
EventEuroNoise 2021 Congress - Online, Madeira, Portugal
Duration: 25 Oct 202127 Oct 2021


ConferenceEuroNoise 2021 Congress
Internet address


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