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Why You May Not Want to Build Your Own Office Phone Booth
A helpful article that may save your company a ton of time and money. 32.7K Views
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Some office managers and business owners have asked, "Are meeting pods just a catchy startup workplace design idea, or are they truly going to increase the bottom line?"
To answer that question, just look at the facts. Open plan office research has shown consistently that employees prefer privacy. It has also shown that it's more than just a preference in terms of their physical setting. It is in fact directly tied to how productive they are at doing tasks essential to their job.
Among the long list of open plan office design issues is that a single distraction can take up to 23 minutes for a worker to recover from.
That was reported by Berlin's Humboldt University. With colleagues everywhere in an open office, this could easily amount to an hour or two of missed time from completing assignments.
Excessive work place noise, which can actually have serious health effects, is seen by many open office workers as detrimental to their ability to succeed. 58% of high performance employees (the ones businesses obviously want to keep around for the long haul) find their office too distracting. 25-30% think that it's too loud.
Almost a decade ago corporations, following the example of Google and others, adopted the open office floor plan. Both startups and established firms, big and small, rushed to redesign and embrace what they thought was a revolutionary concept. Even the United States Embassy in London eliminated a large number of individual offices in its recent move.
Advocates for taking down office and even cubicle walls trumpeted phrases like They argued that private space for concentration mattered less than increasing the opportunity for collaboration so every employee could find themselves “better tuned to the office vibe."
Open office spaces also, according to those using them, broke down the notions of hierarchy and increased flexibility of both discussion and action. It did not hurt that one large room filled with desks crammed together cost much less than separate offices or even cubicle mazes.
Younger workers, chiefly millennials, also reported that they enjoyed an open office plan more than other formats.
If we're being honest, traditional open office floor plans do provide some advantages. The typical open space work environment is fairly cheap, as a company need only purchase desks, computing equipment, and an assortment of other office paraphernalia.
On the other hand, open offices also include a series of severe drawbacks which most firms either don't fully - or only partially – address. (Portable soundproof booths, on the other hand, address all of them.)
These issues include pervasive work background noise and it's associated health effects, the spread of common communicable diseases such as the flu, and over management.
This is due, in part, to the fact that office design companies have not developed solutions mitigate these issues. Granted, there exist cubicles and other office partitions, but office equipment like that hardly addresses the problems we've highlighted, which make them, in effect, an unnecessary expense which can drain a company's needed capital.
However, thanks to recent developments, with the advent of office pod technology, these problems can not only be virtually eliminated, but a series of pro-productivity, pro-worker benefits are provided as well.