Focusing on complex projects can be difficult in mixed-use environments, but that doesn’t mean you can’t provide suitable locations for students or staff to be productive. Using visual cues to define these areas, rather than physical separators, offers flexibility and cost savings. Our office area signs and tape can create zones within cooperative workspaces. Follow these tips for using visual cues to designate quiet zones in offices, classrooms, and libraries to reduce noise disruption for students and staff.

Separating Offices or Rooms Into Zones

Dividing an open-plan office or library to provide a zone for solo time can improve productivity for anyone using the space. Quiet zones are sanctuaries for anyone needing to focus on a complicated task or take a moment to recharge after a stressful test or meeting. When planning the space, look for an area that is naturally quieter and removed from crowded, busy locations. Then, use visuals to create even more separation between that space and areas used for collaboration.

Making the location obvious is key when creating a study cell in a library, a reading area in a classroom, or a do-not-disturb zone in an office. Our floor marking tapes and signs are designed for visibility and longevity, making them ideal for creating well-marked locations for focused, uninterrupted work or quiet relaxation.

How to Choose Floor Tape for Dividing Rooms

The tape you choose needs to be compatible with the flooring in the intended quiet zone. Superior Mark® floor tape stays put on polished floors and it holds up to frequent traffic and cleaning. The beveled edges prevent damage when chairs or privacy screens slide over it so replacements are needed less frequently than with low-quality tape. The recessed adhesive performs better than other tape types and won’t leave behind residue when removed.

Offices and libraries with low-pile carpeting should choose carpet tape that’s specifically designed for carpeted locations. The beveled edges and hook-and-loop backing are top reasons to use Superior Mark® carpet tape, but people also appreciate its durability and versatility.

Once you’ve decided on the material, style and color choices can help the zone come together.

The Best Tape Width for Dividing Lines

The width of the floor tape can help boost the visibility of the boundaries, especially in a room with furniture and other distractions. We offer rolls in 100-foot lengths in any material you choose to complete large and small projects. Our 6-inch-wide floor tape makes noticeable perimeter lines but we also offer it in 4-inch and 2-inch widths; our carpet tape is also available in 2-inch and 4-inch widths. 

Boundary Colors for Quiet Zones

Choosing a bold color or checkered pattern makes the zone even more visible. If you’d prefer the quiet zone to be calming, though, a more neutral color may better reflect the mindset of the space. Tape in white, blue, or gray, shouldn’t hinder the visibility of the boundaries as long as the color you choose contrasts well with the current flooring.

Visual Cues for Traffic Flow

Foot traffic, even if passersby are quiet, can distract people trying to focus. Floor marking arrows can direct people to go around designated quiet areas rather than walking through. Apply corner markers at the boundary to designate a perimeter and use dots and arrows to show people the preferred path. Our floor tape arrows, footprints, and corner markers can create indoor directional cues on carpet or hard surfaces to redirect traffic in libraries, classrooms, and industrial and municipal offices.

Setting Expectations in Quiet Zones

Custom floor signs and tape can be displayed inside and around the quiet zone to remind people of the area rules—design yours with any symbols or phrases you wish. Signs should feature recognizable symbols for prohibited actions to communicate restrictions—such as no phone calls, eating, or conversations, depending on the zone’s use. Floor signs and wall signs surrounding or leading up to the location should announce that the area is a quiet zone and remind others to be respectful to prevent disrupting focused work.

Reducing Ambient Noise With Quiet Zone Elements

Add plants, sound-absorbing panels, or fabric dividers to dampen noise and create a more calming atmosphere. Soft seating options, like armchairs with extra cushions, can increase comfort in the quiet zone and dampen noises. Plants can also be comforting and setting tall leafy greenery near the perimeter of the area can help provide visual separation as well. 

Reviewing and Improving the Quiet Zone

Benefits of our pressure-sensitive floor tape include that it is removable and doesn’t leave residue behind. You can map out a floor plan using carpet tape or adhesive-backed tape to designate where chairs, study cubbies, or desks might go to help visualize the quiet zone layout before moving in furniture. Then, get feedback and adjust your layout accordingly to meet everyone’s needs. The final boundaries and markings can stay in place permanently to ensure furniture is replaced properly during cleaning, or tape can be removed after the furniture is in place.

Consider using visual guidelines in collaborative spaces or conference rooms, too. Tape lines can communicate where chairs, desks, or tables may be arranged to use the space efficiently while ensuring that teams don’t encroach on the quiet zone.

Though our floor signs and marking tapes are designed to hold up in industrial environments, they are also versatile tools for schools, offices, and community spaces. Any workplace can benefit from organizational cues that boost productivity and user satisfaction. For more visual management ideas, visit our Resource Center.