Most modern offices have open floor plans. This type of office style is supports interdepartmental communication, continual collaboration and workflow. However, one of the best ways to get the most out of open plan office arrangements is to incorporate office pods. These can be done relatively cost effectively too.
What is an office pod?
An office pod is a small, fully enclosed, private room that can be used for various purposes such as focus work, video conferencing, discussing sensitive information, flexible hot-desking etc. Office pods offer an enclosed space away from noise and distractions in open office space planning. They can be mobile or built in. Most have acoustic qualities and can block out the noise around them.
These compact, semi-private workspaces that are available to employees for individual workspaces, one-on-one meetings, and huddle collaboration. Their uses are many, covering everything from personal offices to quiet rooms for joining conference calls.
Key Benefits of Office Pods
1) Efficient use of space
A pre-COVID 2019 study found that the average conference room is occupied by only one person 36% of the time and between two to four people 40% of the time. Having somewhere private to meet for 121s, huddle collaboration and catch ups frees up larger meeting rooms for bigger meetings. With three-quarters of meetings hosting fewer than four people, office pods are excellent at bridging this gap.
2) Boost productivity
In the UK, one study showed 49% of employees work in open plan offices. In the US 70% of offices are open plan. While open plan offices are great for collaboration and facilitating informal lines of communication, they can be tricky to focus in. Office pods provide great places for focus work as they help block out noise and other distractions to help concentration and boost productivity. Acoustic office pods are designed to block noise by up to 100%. Office pods can create focus zones cost-effectively and quickly, compared with redesigning an entire office.
3) They are great for conference calls
Designed with calls in mind, acoustic office pods are the perfect solution for conference calls, especially where sensitive information might be discussed. While a level of ambient noise in open plan offices is expected, they can also get quite noisy. Equally, noise from conference calls can be disruptive. In an open plan office, meeting rooms are often the only spaces quiet enough to participate in a quality virtual meeting. This is the main reason conference rooms and meeting rooms are often only occupied by one or two people, as pointed out in point 1 above.
4) They are a great support for neurodivergent employees
Many neurodiverse people thrive when they have the option of quiet places to focus or decompress when overwhelmed. Conditions like dyslexia, dyscalculia, ADHD and autism can also mean anxiety in open spaces, which can be helped by a quiet office pod.
Office pods can double up as hot desks for staff who only visit the office occasionally. This frees up larger meeting room space and avoids empty desks.
Office pods can be refined to optimize productivity, efficiency, and the office experience. They provide the more quiet and private workspaces that fully open plan offices lack. Office pods are not informal meeting spaces as such, so for optimum use, they should have a robust room booking system in situ.
If you are looking at integrating an office pod into your office, contact us today. We offer free no-obligation consultations with our experts on these and other AV related projects.
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