Eighteen months after the first lockdown a survey shows that more than half of UK adults would now factor noise into their future employment decision, according to  Quiet Mark’s new trend report. And, according to The World Health Organisation, says Quiet Mark, noise pollution is the second biggest natural killer after air pollution.

Quiet Mark, the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation, has conducted a brand new 2021 survey, taking a deep dive into the UK’s attitudes towards noise in their home and work lives, in the wake of both increased work from home and return to the workplace this Autumn. Although not aimed at the textile care industry, laundry operations experiencing labour shortages could learn from some interesting findings, one of which is that more than half of those asked would factor noise into their employment decision.

Quiet Mark’s ‘National Noise Report October 2021: Household & Workplace Pandemic-Recovery’ shows a significant lack of knowledge around how noise importantly impacts on well-being. Other surprise findings are that young people aged 18-34 have particularly strong preferences for quieter technology:

If Brits were to consider a new job, found the survey, half (52%) would factor noise into their employment decision. Over a quarter (28%) would prioritise working from home as it is quieter and enables them to concentrate better than in their workplace. On the other hand, just 14% would prioritise working on-site as they find that to be more productive. Over one in 10 (12%) would want to work in a different industry or work environment altogether in order to minimise noise.

However, the survey did also highlight a lack of knowledge related to the health risks of noise. When it comes to knowledge on hearing, over a third (39%) of Brits incorrectly believe that hearing loss begins at 110 decibels, about the noise level of a rock concert. Just under half (47%) know that exposure to noise can disturb sleep and cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. Only a fifth (19%) know that noise is the second biggest killing natural pollutant after air pollution, according to The World Health Organisation.

“Because sound is invisible it is often overlooked. Yet, the fundamental impact it has on all the physical rhythms of our bodies, our hormones, heart-rate and brain waves is so profound and inherent to our well-being. According to our latest public surveys commissioned by Quiet Mark”, says Poppy Szkiler, CEO & co-founder of Quiet Mark

“There is still a huge knowledge gap about this in the UK, which often prevents noise reduction being made a priority in the design focus of new product development, yet unwanted noise is a serious pollutant which affects our brain-waves, heart rate, all our physical rhythms”.

Quiet Mark’s mission is to raise awareness to these health risks, drive quiet design innovation to support public health, and provide solutions to unwanted noise. When people see the distinctive Quiet Mark logo alongside a product, they know it’s one of the quietest products or materials on the market, enabling them to increase the acoustic comfort of their spaces, for greater well-being and improved mental health.

Through specialist acoustic measurement and product assessment, Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in over 70 product categories giving consumers and trade buyers a more informed choice about the sound levels of the products they buy. The Quiet Mark scheme drives designers and manufacturers to reduce sound levels of their products enabling households and workplaces to rebalance the soundscape reducing stressful unwanted noise.