“How Shopping malls construct a good environment to solve its noise pollution problem?”
Noise pollution in shopping malls is an issue that need to be resolved by constructing a good environment. Noise pollution can be said to be a hazard on the perspective of both the employees and the customers at the shopping malls. Customers will want to shop in a good environment where there is no noise pollution and where they can be able to discuss purchase decisions with their family members and friends without disturbance. Business people would also want to discuss issues in the restaurants without disturbance of high music being played in other stores within the mall. Noise pollution also makes the work environment for the employees who report high stress levels after working in a mall where there is noise pollution.
The employees find it challenging to concentrate with their work, listen to customer needs and communicate effectively while working in a mall where there is high level of pollution. From these two perspectives, it is important to construct a good environment within the shopping malls that will ensure that the employees and the customers can enjoy. One of the suggestions for achieving this is establishing a central control system for the music in the shopping mall as well as having policies that regulate the volume of the music that is played by each of the stores. This kind of regulation will ensure that some of the stores do not play loud music at the cost of the other stores within the same shopping mall.
Noise pollution in shopping malls is a common occurrence where there is need to construct an environment that is favorable for the shoppers as well as the employees working in the malls. One of the ways in which shops influence shoppers to make purchases is by playing loud music which triggers them to spend on purchasing items they desire. If different shops in a mall play different loud music, this results to noise pollution and high stress levels among the employees and shoppers. There have been numerous complaints from shoppers as well as employees about malls that are noisy which interferes with their operations. The shopping malls attract a large number of people who are after making purchases and who are hopeful of having a good shopping experience at the malls. The employees also work in the shopping malls on a full time basis and therefore would want an environment that is not stressing and where their health is not at risk. This shows the importance of constructing good environment in the shopping malls where there is no noise pollution.
The main reason for this topic is to highlight the challenge of noise pollution in the shopping malls and justify the need to construct environment that is free from such pollution. The research will explore the issue of noise pollution from the aspect of the customers as well as that of the employees in the shopping malls. This impacts of this kind of pollution will be highlighted in addition to recommendations on how shopping malls can construct an environment that is free from noise pollution.
Noise pollution in the shopping malls has a negative impact on the customers who visit the malls for shopping. Most of the customers do not like to be exposed to noise when going on with their business. This is especially the case with the elderly customers who find loud music irritating and would rather go shopping in malls that are silent or with regulated sound systems (Consumers Association of Penang, 2013). One of the main reasons why loud music is played in stores in the shopping malls is to attract customers to make purchases. However the volume and quality of the music played determine whether the customers will actually go to the store or not. There are customers who specifically avoid the stores that are playing loud music. In addition, if there are many stores in the same mall playing different loud music, this causes noise pollution and some of the customers will actually avoid the mall (Shastri & Trivedi, 1998).
There are also customers who go shopping with their families and would want to go about their shopping in a relaxed mood. Noisy pollution however makes it impossible for them to shop at peace and the noisy malls become extremely unsuitable for the young children. This also applies to business people who would want to sit in restaurants in the malls to discuss business (Agarwal, 2005). With the noise pollution, the business people find the malls unfavorable and will opt for other places where there is no disturbance. The restaurants within a mall therefore are likely to lose customers as a result of disturbance from the other shops within the mall that play loud music. The noisy malls make it unfavorable for offering certain services such as library or healthcare services where the customers want an environment which is silent and with no form of disturbance (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005).
There are some shops in the shopping malls that play scary sound effects that negatively affect the customers especially those with children. A good example is the cinema halls and game stores that are likely to play loud and scary sounds which scares the customers doing shopping in other parts of the mall. In addition, there are some customers who may find the music being played in the shopping malls not favorable for them and this causes a negative feeling. The shopping malls have a responsibility to ensure that they provide a good environment for all the customers and one of the ways of doing this is by regulation noise (Murphy & King, 2014).
Some of the customers judge the value of the malls based on the environment built. The noisy malls are viewed as targeting the younger generation and hence not favorable for the older people. According to Shastri & Trivedi (1998) most of the customers prefer the malls that are not noisy but those that play soft and regulated music which they can enjoy in the course of their shopping. Customers in silent malls are able to discuss the purchase decisions with their family members and friends which is extremely challenging while shopping in noisy malls (Agarwal, 2005).
From the customer perspective therefore, it is important to construct a good environment free from noise pollution where the customers can enjoy doing their shopping. This does not however happen with some of the malls that have been reported to be excessively noisy and where the customers are constantly complaining of stress while shopping in the malls. Despite there being other factors that influence the choice of the malls that customers visit, noise pollution will definitely keep them off. The management of the malls should therefore take into consideration the customer aspects and influence of noise pollution to construct an environment that is free from pollution (Murphy & King, 2014).
The second aspect of noise pollution in the shopping malls is on the employees. The staff who are employed to work in the shops spend a long time there and for this reason they have the greatest impact of working in a noisy environment. Noise in the shopping malls cause distraction on the employees where they are not able to fully concentrate on the work that they are doing (Consumers Association of Penang, 2013). This increases the error rates in their operations which is costly and which could also result to accidents at the mall. For this reason it is important to ensure there is good environment for the employees to concentrate on their work such as ensuring there is no noise pollution (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005).
High noise levels in the shopping malls make the work of the employees challenging. It makes it difficult to communicate with the customers and understand their needs and this could be a reason for poor service which the employees do not have control over. This is especially the case with the employees who are offering services to the customers in the malls and have to listen to the customers in order to understand their preferences (Consumers Association of Penang, 2013). In addition, employees are forced to shout to their colleagues or customers when working in a noisy environment and this tires them hence lowering their productivity. Noise therefore lowers the efficiency of communication and the level of interaction between employees and other parties in the shopping malls which should not be the case (Milne, 2009).
Another major impact of the high noise levels for the employees is cases of high stress levels. Employees who work in a noisy environment are more likely to complain about high stress levels as compared to those that work in malls that are silent or which have controlled sound systems. Some of the employees do not like listening to loud music and working under such an environment increases their levels of job dissatisfaction (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005). To increase the productivity and motivation of the employees in the shopping malls it is important to ensure that they are working in a good environment where they do not have to bear with high noise levels. There are cases where some of the shops in the malls repeat the same music or audio recordings for a long period of time and this is annoying for the employees. In most cases however the employees do not have control over the noise pollution as it arises from other shops (Shastri & Trivedi, 1998).
Loud music or noise pollution has negative impacts such as impairing the earing system of the people who are exposed to such environment. Employees who listen to loud music for a long period of time as such could end up having hearing problems. In his book Bugliarello (2008) explains that one of the major causes of hearing problems is listening to loud music over long hours. This means that the noise pollution in the malls pose a risk on the employees and measures should be taken to ensure that the environment is favorable for them. Employees in shopping malls have reported noise pollution as one of the challenges that they have to bear with on a daily basis especially when working near the noisy shops (Murphy & King, 2014).
From the above analysis, the employee aspect is another important consideration that should influence the management to construct a good environment in the malls free from noise pollution. The shop owners expect that the employees will be productive enough and offer the best services to attract customers to the shops and the mall. This cannot however be achieved if the right environment is not established for them to work. The malls that have noise pollution are likely to report poor performance from the employees as compared to those that have a good environment. The employee aspect therefore makes it necessary to find ways to overcome the noise pollution in the malls so that the employees can be productive (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005).
It is important to take into consideration how the shopping malls are constructed and how they ensure that there is no noise pollution. This is because the kind of environment that is created determines the number of customers that are attracted to the mall. The malls also have a responsibility to ensure that they take care of the health of the customers and employees that work there. They should therefore ensure that the employees are not being exposed to noise pollution which could have a negative impact on their hearing ability (Milne, 2009).
The manner in which the malls construct a favorable environment is determined by different factors including the goals of the management, the expertise of the people involved as well as the conduct of the shops that occupy the malls (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005). The high levels of noise pollution that is reported in the shopping malls arise as a result of the shops failing to take social responsibility in creating a good environment. Most of them as such play the loud music with the aim of attracting customers and making sales with no consideration on the impact they have on the other shops, the customers and the other employees in the same mall. The shops will therefore have to be more responsible in regards to the environment that create to ensure that they do not create an unfavorable environment with excessive noise (Murphy & King, 2014).
How the Shopping mall built environments influence people
The kind of environment that the shopping malls create have a major influence on the kind of people they attract and how the customers rank them. Shopping malls that are noisy for instance are ranked lowly by the customers as they are associated with a high degree of disturbance and stress. The customers find it stressing to do their shopping in an environment where there is too much noise and where it is difficult to coordinate activities. According to Hildebrand (2005) most of the shoppers are usually mature people who have been through challenging tasks during the day other stressing activities where they would want a silent and relaxed environment to do their shopping at peace. If the shopping malls are noisy then they find the environment not being favorable for them and are likely to go for other shopping opportunities where there is less discomfort (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005).
Recommendations to prevent noise pollution in the Shopping mall
The fact that noise pollution has negative impact on shopping malls means that there is need to come up with initiatives that will make it possible to construct a noise free environment. From the two perspectives of the customers and employees, noise pollution is not favorable as it causes stress and discomfort despite many of the shops playing high volume music in order to influence the customers to make purchases. This cannot be justified given the fact that when each of the shops play a different kind of high volume music, then this constitutes noise and is not favorable for anyone in the shopping malls (Milne, 2009).
There are various ways in which the shopping malls can built environment to prevent cases of noise pollution. One of these is by having a centralized music system which will ensure that each store does not have to play its own music. This will ensure that the music that is played in the mall is controlled from a central location which ensures that there is no noise pollution. There should also be regulation on the kind of music that is being played in the malls to ensure that it is appropriate for all the people in the malls and that some do not feel offended. In this way the shopping malls will offer a better experience for both the customers and the employees who spend their time in the mall (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005).
To regulate noise pollution in the malls, it should be constructed in a manner that the noisy shops are placed in separate locations from others areas where high volume should be avoided. The cinemas and games stores for instance should be located separately from the banks, clinics, books stores and other shops which are sensitive to noise. The cinemas and games store should not be allowed to play loud scary sound effects which scare away customers and cause discomfort on the employees working in the malls. Where possible, these kind of businesses that are noisy should not be allowed in the shopping malls in order to create a silent environment that is favorable for everyone (Milne, 2009).
Another recommendation will be for the shopping malls to have a policy guideline for all the shops which will limit them from playing loud music. All the parties in the shopping mall should be able to come to an agreement on the policy which will be favorable for all of them so that some do not play loud music at the expense of other stores. This will ensure that there is discipline in the stores and that they cooperate in establishing a good environment for the customers as well as the employees. For this to be achieved however there has to be common understanding between the stores as well as with the employees who are responsible for regulating the music in each store. There will be need for the different stakeholders to understand the need for the steps that are being taken and how they will help to improve the environment at the shopping mall (Lara, 2006).
It would also be recommendable for the malls to be constructed and instilled with sound proof material that help to absorb and lower the noise levels in the mall. There are sound experts who are able to advice on the best material for construction which will help to regulate the noise levels arising from the particular mall. Such experts should be consulted at the construction stage of the mall to ensure that all the appropriate construction material is used. The design of the malls also determines the noise levels where the open malls are likely to be less noisy as compared to the malls that are enclosed (Lara, 2006).
Other recommendations for constructing a good environment in the shopping malls and ensuring there is no noise pollution would be for have enclosure areas which are sound proof where the noisy shops can be located. This will ensure that they do not cause disruption in other parts of the mall and that they can be allowed to play the loud music that they would want to (Inseth, 2011). The shops that intend to play loud music can also come up with treatment measures that will ensure that the sound that they play does not go outside shops. This could be done by working with sound experts to ensure that the noise is adequately regulated. Indoor insulations on the buildings is also a measure which would lower the levels of noise pollution in the malls as it help in making the building noise tolerant (Wang, Hung, & Pereira, 2005).
In conclusion, noise pollution has become a major issue in most of the shopping malls today. Noise pollution in the malls mainly occurs when each of the shops play different loud music and other sound effects that cause distraction. This can be evaluated from the aspects of customers as well as that of the employees who work in the malls on a fulltime basis. The customers find it stressing to do their shopping in a noisy environment and would prefer a more silent shopping environment. Noisy shopping malls make it difficult for the shoppers to consult with family members and friends in making purchase decisions. Customers are also not able to hold business meetings or discussions in the malls as a result of the noise pollution making the environment unfavorable for them. In addition there are shops that play loud scary sound effects that scare away the customers such as cinemas and game stores.
The employees in the malls also find it extremely challenging to work in a noisy environment. Noise pollution causes stress and distraction on the employees as well as making it challenging for them to communicate with the clients on their needs. For this reason, it is important for the shopping malls to be able to construct a favorable environment which is free from noise pollution for the customers to do their shopping and employees to work. This can be done by ensuring that the malls are constructed in the right manner, having a central music and sound control center as well as ensuring that the noisy shops are placed in separate locations. The malls should also have policies to regulate noise pollution in the shopping malls that are to be observed by all the shops.
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