20 Ways to Reduce Background Noise in the Contact Centre


Our experts explain how you can reduce background noise in the contact centre.

1. Try installing acoustic ceiling tiles rather than traditional ceiling tiles

We work in a 1970s open-plan building and have recently refurbished.

We now have acoustic ceiling tiles rather than traditional ceiling tiles and it has made a big difference.

With thanks to Steven

2. Train your agents to keep their voice down

Agents need to be aware of their fellow agents when talking on the phone.

In coaching and training, we reiterated the message that it is important to keep a level tone of voice.

With thanks to Retha

3. Install an adjustable white noise system

We have a white noise system that can be adjusted based on the call volume into our contact centre.

With thanks to Lisa

4. Encourage your agents to move to a different area for breaks


We have a rule in place where agents should leave their desks while on break.

We also have treats (chocolate, fruit and cookies) set up at the back of the contact centre, behind a soundproof wall, to ‘encourage’ agents to move to that area.

With thanks to Doug

5. Have a webchat system available to agents and supervisors

We have a webchat system available to agents and supervisors.

This stops the agents from shouting across or getting up to talk to the supervisor.

With thanks to Retha

6. Discourage agents from holding discussions behind working agents

We teach our staff never to hold a ‘discussion’ behind any agents on the phones, just in case they are taking a call.

A noisy call centre gives customers a perception that you are not a professional organisation.

With thanks to Lisa

7. Use water features and plants


We use water features and plants as well as screens to help reduce unnecessary background noise.

With thanks to Paul

8. Think carefully about the games you introduce

It is important to think about what games you play in the contact centre and how they may affect noise levels.

I once worked somewhere that had a giant Jenga game for agents to play with on their breaks (only a few feet away from people taking live calls!).

Unsurprisingly, the sound of the bricks crashing down was rather loud and the game was quickly banished to the store cupboard!

With thanks to Megan

9. Put artwork canvasses on the walls

In our contact centre, we have fabric screens on desks (separating our agents) and artwork canvasses on the walls.

With thanks to Rob

10. Create a designated area for having conversations

We have a designated area of the office specifically for having conversations.

With thanks to Mike

11. Separate agents with glass partitions

We separate our agents with glass partitions.

This helps reduce overall background noise on calls without our agents feeling completely isolated.

With thanks to Retha

12. Do not allow mobile phones on the floor


We do not allow mobile phones on the floor.

This helps to keep personal conversations out of the office.

With thanks to Mike

13. Invest in good quality headphones

We use good quality headphones with noise reduction.

With thanks to Ales

14. Try putting agents in cubicles with padded sides

Our agents are in cubicles with padded sides and a higher front panel to absorb sound.

With thanks to Lisa

15. Email each other instead of shouting across the office


We email each other instead of shouting across the office.

With thanks to Chris

16. Turn up the volume of the agent’s own voice feedback

Turning up the volume of the agent’s own voice feedback in their earphones has helped to lower agent voice volume.

[This can be done on the ACD system by adjusting the sidetone settings – Editor]

With thanks to Mike

17. Play recordings back to noisy agents to show them how loud they really are

When agents are causing a problem by being too loud on the phone, we play recordings back to them.

Until they are shown evidence that they are being disruptive, they simply don’t accept that it is a problem for the people around them.

But as soon as they hear themselves, everything changes!

With thanks to Paul

18. Use a series of doors and corridors to separate working areas

Our call centre is closed off from the lunch room and elevators by a series of doors and corridors.

We also have a notification on the door of the call centre that asks those entering to keep their voices down.

With thanks to Lisa

19. Seat same-shift agents together

We are open 24/7 so, where possible, we seat same-shift agents together in specific areas.

This helps to reduce the noise levels at end/beginning of shifts, as people coming in or leaving do create a bit of noise.

With thanks to Mike

20. Listen back to your calls to check for background noise


We listen back to our calls to check for background noise – probably around 5-10 random calls each week.

The noise of agents picking up the call and then putting their headphones on sounds terrible, as does the sounds of the desk fans whirring in the background.

With thanks to Chris

For more ideas for reducing background noise on calls, read our articles:

Author: Megan Jones

Published On: 25th Jun 2014 - Last modified: 11th Dec 2020
Read more about - Hints and Tips, , ,

Follow Us on LinkedIn

Recommended Articles

A photo of an agent being annoyed by a dog
How to Reduce Background Noise During a Call - With Remote-Working Ideas
12 Quick Ways to Deal With Call Centre Noise
A collection of poly headsets
Headset Noise Cancelling Technology Explained
Best Noise-Cancelling Headsets for a Loud Call Centre
1 Comment
  • From voice processing perspective, RNR (reference-based noise removal) is the technology that can attenuate noises in the call center.

    Moses Benjamin 7 Apr at 12:20