Silence by Martela has been developed to offer furniture solutions for work tasks where concentration must be maximised and disturbance minimised. The new furniture for open plan offices has acoustic damping properties and can also serve as a location for informal meetings or exchanges. This versatile concept brings considerable flexibility, which in turn supports activity-based office solutions.

On average 28% of all employees spend their time dealing with unnecessary interruptions


In many cases activity based office means giving up personal workstations and sharing workspace. Even if the workstations are not personal, they should fit each user. Ideally, the user should be able to adjust the working environment according to his physical needs and preferences. This can mean adjusting the sitting position in the task chair and setting the desk height right. Also needs for the amount of light may vary from user to user. Some people need storage space for work related material, for others it is enough to have a place to store their handbag and receive paper mail. Martela’s broad collection of colours and materials helps make each space feel right for the different users.


One of the four principles the Silence solutions are based on is interference. Interference is considered to be one of the main ergonomic problems in open plan offices. Studies show that an average employee spends 28% of their time dealing with unnecessary interruptions followed by “recovery time” to get back on track. (2009, Basex). It is clear that cutting down interruptions is one of the main things we need to focus on. Sound ergonomics is at the core of the solution. Martela’s Silence solution includes furniture that provides different kinds of acoustic shelter. An activity based office must provide spaces for uninterrupted work.


Listening to user needs must be a continuous process and spaces and solutions must be updated according to user feedback. In an activity based office the workers should have a possibility to choose the most suitable place to work for the task at hand. The chosen furniture needs to be easily moved and it should provide ideas for versatility.


The key to a successful solution is efficient use of all available space. This can achieved through monitoring use on a regular basis. Based on the results as well as user feedback the facilities are modified. People can also be encouraged to do mobile work. This in turn reduces the amount of office space required.