In the ever-changing world of office design, companies have shifted away from too many private offices and boxed cubicles for each employee and towards more open floor plans. Over recent years, open-plan layouts have dominated workspaces and have gained popularity for fostering interactive and collaborative work environments. However, they also come with challenges, particularly when maintaining privacy and concentration. The question then arises: how do you design a workspace that balances these advantages and disadvantages? The solution is to create a workspace that is both private and engaging.
One effective strategy to address the challenges of an open floor plan is to incorporate phone booths and meeting pods into your office design. This article will define phone booths and meeting pods, outline their benefits, and explain the difference between modular and built-in pods. Keep reading to discover why and how you should incorporate pods into your upcoming office design.
What are Phone Booths?
Phone booths are compact, freestanding pods integrated within a broader office environment. Drawing inspiration from the familiar idea of traditional telephone boxes, these booths are optimized for professional applications. They offer a range of advantages, including heightened privacy, effective noise cancellation, and minimized distractions. Phone booths generally accommodate 1-2 individuals and are ideal for those who want to attend virtual meetings without headphones or who need undisturbed work. They are typically equipped with comfortable seating, adequate lighting, and soundproofing materials that create a serene and distraction-free environment.
A great example of an office phone booth is the HushPhone by HushOffice. These booths are designed with full soundproofing while ensuring user comfort through a built-in ventilation system. With a compact footprint of less than 1 square meter, the booth is easily maneuverable throughout the office space, thanks to its integrated wheels. The glass panels also contribute to a sense of openness and provide access to natural light.
Benefits of Phone Booths:
- Privacy: Phone booths provide a secluded space where employees can have confidential conversations without fear of being overheard.
- Concentration: These booths offer a quiet atmosphere, perfect for tasks that require deep concentration or focus.
- Increased Productivity: Phone booths can significantly enhance productivity by providing a dedicated space for phone calls or focused work.
- Flexibility: Phone booths are often designed to be mobile and can be relocated within the office as needed.
What are Meeting Pods?
Like phone booths, meeting pods are versatile, enclosed spaces for small group meetings, brainstorming sessions, or collaborative work. They offer an alternative to booking traditional meeting rooms and are equipped with technology for video conferencing and presentations. Beyond formal business meetings, they offer flexibility by doubling as multi-purpose spaces for informal conversations and client presentations or as flexible event venues. Meeting pods can come in larger four-person and six-person units, which can be helpful for companies if conference room space is limited or frequently booked for larger meetings.
With HushMeet, employees find respite from the buzz of their communal workplace. Their mind wanders freely, and ideas flow uninhibited. Sheltered by soundproof walls, one can brainstorm, conceptualize, and problem-solve without judgment or interruption.
Benefits of Meeting Pods:
- Collaboration: These pods encourage teamwork and brainstorming in a secluded environment, away from the distractions of the open office.
- Versatility: Meeting pods are adaptable and can be used for various purposes, from formal meetings to informal discussions.
- Technology Integration: They often come equipped with audiovisual equipment, whiteboards, and video conferencing capabilities, enhancing collaboration and communication.
- Space Optimization: Meeting pods efficiently use office space and can be cost-effective for smaller meetings.
Difference Between Modular and Built-In Pods
The main difference between modular and built-in office pods is that modular pods are prebuilt, uniform units that can be relocated, providing flexibility and cost-effectiveness. In contrast, built-in pods are customized and integrated directly into the office design, offering a tailored solution with higher costs and limited mobility.
The choice between modular and built-in pods depends on factors significantly impacting the working environment. Modular office pods allow teams to sculpt and reshape their workspace. These units can also be disassembled and relocated, providing a cost-effective solution that aligns with the dynamic needs of a modern office. The absence of construction costs positions modular pods as an economical alternative, saving time and resources during installation.
However, the one-size-fits-all approach in modular pods may pose challenges for teams with specific and unique requirements. On the other hand, built-in pods offer custom-tailored solutions, incorporating design elements that align with the company’s particular needs, from improved Wi-Fi connectivity to enhanced airflow.
While integrating built-in booths can benefit office design, the associated costs, including construction and permit expenses, can be a deterrent. Additionally, their lack of mobility is a drawback, as moving a built-in booth requires hiring a construction company to disassemble and reassemble it in a new location. The process also entails HVAC, electrical, and data wiring considerations/changes, further adding to the complexity and costs. In contrast, modular units come with these features pre-installed, offering a more straightforward and cost-effective solution for creating private spaces within the office environment.
Ultimately, deciding between modular and built-in phone booths involves careful consideration of your company’s specific needs, budget constraints, and the desired level of flexibility within the office space.
Ready to Hush the Noise and Amplify Productivity Levels?
As the demand for flexible and versatile workspaces continues to grow, office pod solutions are likely to play an increasingly essential role in shaping the future of office design, ultimately contributing to enhanced productivity and employee well-being.
Whether your workspace demands focused calls or collaborative sessions, the good news is we can help you find the right solution for both. At Office Interiors, we have incorporated phone booths and meeting pods at our headquarters and have seen the benefits firsthand. Visit our online store or reach out to us about utilizing phone booths in your next office design! We’d be more than happy to help.