Zenbooth

Zenbooth Blog

Trends come and go in workplace design, and one idea that's taken hold in the last several years is the open office layout. Patterned after the traditional newsroom, it features workspaces without walls. 

Desks may be arranged around the edges of a room, placed into rows, or even set up in pairs that face each other. While there are advantages to this setup, it can be stressful for employees, leading to a lack of privacy and a breakdown of concentration.

Cubicles offer a semblance of privacy but, as anyone that’s worked in an office cubicle environment can attest, workers can still hear conversations going on around the room. 

One response to these issues is the emergence of mobile collaboration pods that block noise and visual distractions, allowing workers to concentrate on tasks. These phone booths and comfort booths allow employees to make private phone calls and take breaks from the fishbowl atmosphere of an open office environment. 

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Office furniture pods are becoming increasingly popular among employers who are looking to create a more efficient and modern office environment. 

The satisfaction and productivity rates of so many American workers have become negatively affected by an inability to focus due to distractions. 

The easy incorporation of a Zenbooth product into your workspace will provide an immediate escape for employees to finish work quickly, conduct private phone calls and conversations, and host important guests with comfort and confidence. 

There are multiple unique features that put Zenbooth head and shoulders above any other office pods available on the market. 

Here are the five that may be the most directly beneficial to a workspace, its users and their overall efficiency rate.

High-Quality Ventilation System

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Business owners strive to create quiet office environments that enhance productivity in their workforce. Unfortunately, this can be tricky, especially in modern open-plan offices.

So, how do you ensure your employees are comfortable at the office, while also safeguarding productivity? It's time to consider investing in open office phone booths.

Inside these individual work pods, employees and entrepreneurs can conduct private meetings, make phone calls and find a calm personal space. 

The Features and Benefits of Open Office Phone Booths

Zenbooths are designed to keep users cool by cycling fresh air into the enclosure once every minute. The booths come with cutting edge ventilation systems to enhance comfort. This system is motion activated so it starts running as soon as someone enters the booth.

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Silicon Valley got it wrong – very wrong.

Countless studies, research papers, and surveys have now found that the trend of open offices is doing nothing but harming your employees’ productivity. 

Removing or shrinking partitions and implementing an open-door policy isn’t fostering collaboration – instead, it’s leaving your team members distracted, unfocused, and quite frankly, frustrated.

One of the most significant factors that contribute to lost productivity is noise. Without walls or dividers, staff working on individual projects have no choice but to listen to rowdy brainstorming sessions and enthusiastic sales calls.

The solution? Furniture like soundproof office pods.

Let’s examine the drawbacks of an open office space and explain just how beneficial the very best soundproof office pods can be.

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It’s no secret that office phone booths are the latest trend in open-plan workplace design. And, chances are, if you are a business owner that’s always looking to boost productivity, you’re just about ready to jump on board.

Before you hit that oh-so-tempting checkout button, you’ll need to decide which size booth is right for your office.  

In this article, we’ll walk you through the top considerations to make when selecting an office phone booth for your workspace. Grab yourself a well-deserved coffee, a pen, and some paper – let’s get started.

Is an Office Phone or Meeting Booth Right for Your Business?

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Nothing kills productivity like workplace stress. The reality is today’s open office environments are wearing out employees. From constant distractions to a lack of privacy, studies show that the open layout is causing as many problems as it was intended to solve.

One in eight open office workers say that their company's open layout has motivated them to want to leave their job. Even more foreboding for employers who have worked hard to cultivate a positive atmosphere, these same employees feel resentful toward senior staff with private offices.

One-third of workers say the constant distractions cripple their productivity, and one in six claim open layouts hinder their creativity.

This is why it’s so important to stay on top of office furniture trends and find ways to offer a low-stress environment for your employees. 

Today, 70 percent of offices have zero or low partitions. But, with office furniture pods that offer privacy and quiet, employers can give their staff members the best of both worlds. Collaboration and flexibility come together in creative office spaces that include portable meeting rooms for shared ideas.

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In our increasingly connected world, the level of competition companies face is higher than ever. In many industries the consumer's choice is not just a local one but a global one. Therefore an organization needs to provide the highest level of service and products. 

Going hand in hand with this need is employee productivity.

An organization’s success relies on the efficiency of their workers, owners and management. Because of this businesses are constantly looking for new ways to increase productivity. Many overlook one of the most important considerations – office design.

Office design isn’t just about making the workplace look impressive to high-value customers who stop by for a visit. It also needs to be more than functional for employees. 

By utilizing ingenious and proven techniques, office design can actually result in skyrocketing productivity from your workers, dramatically improving your bottom line.

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Modern-day offices are quickly moving away from rigid, gray cubicles and bland settings. Contemporary workplace trends that deliver a sense of playful openness are being heralded by high-performing, forward-thinking companies like Google and Apple.

Now, it’s your turn.

In this article, we’ll discuss ways you can make your office space look fun without sacrificing the professionalism your business needs to convey to employees, customers, and clients.  

First, let’s take a look at the value of fun in the workplace.

Why create a fun office space?

How do your employees feel when they step foot into your business’s office? How do partners feel? What about clients? 

Do they feel a wave of dread, a flicker of outdated stuffiness, or a total lack of inspiration? Or, do they feel comfortable, at ease, and ready to work?

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The health consequences of sedentary behavior, including working while seated for prolonged periods, are well known and devastating. 

People who spend most of their days sitting have a higher risk of developing cancer, cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes and premature death.

Of course, it hasn’t helped that a lot of the work done in offices today requires people to be sitting and hunched over their laptops or PCs.

This runs contrary to how the human body has been designed to be in motion, and not stuck in one place, doing monotonous work. Prolonged sitting affects posture and is harmful to the spine. 

Hence, it is important to consciously integrate movement into your office work routine so as not to reap the harmful effects of sedentary lifestyles.

Aside from standing and moving every once in a while to get away from your desk, there are office furniture solutions designed to encourage movement. One of these is the height adjustable desk.

Height-adjustable desks are now a popular fixture in the modern office. They make the transition from sitting to standing completely effortless.

These occasional shifts in the body’s position and posture are not only essential for efficient blood circulation but also for keeping the mind

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The concept of office privacy booths is one of the more popular innovations in the modern workplace. They're a welcome addition to just about any office layout, including open-plan offices, cellular offices and co-working spaces.

Although it’s the open-plan layout that has mostly driven the need for quiet spaces, more businesses, including startups, are keen on adopting these revolutionary office furniture features.

Why Your Office Needs Private Phone Booths

A privacy booth provides a secluded, noise-free area where anyone can comfortably make a phone call or work peacefully without worrying about background noise and eavesdroppers.

Plus, a phone booth serves as an ideal location for some alone time. A few minutes in a phone booth away from all the chatter and chaos of the workplace is an effective way to relieve stress and sharpen focus.

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When you're operating an office, each element has an important role to play. From overall architecture and layout considerations, to interior design and workplace functionality.

Office productivity depends on the seamless integration and flow of people and processes. 

Office furniture is a vital piece of the puzzle, with individual furniture items and wider layout considerations having a huge effect on how your office looks, feels, and functions.

Analyzing office furniture elements

Whether you're buying a collection of new desks, investing in ergonomic chairs, or installing a private meeting booth, understanding the importance of furniture will help you make better decisions. 

The chairs, desks, and meeting spaces that make up your office help define people's health and happiness. 

While every modern office is unique, the following three spaces form the backbone of most working environments:

  • Workspaces - Individual works zones are where people spend most of their time. Whether you run a law firm with cubicles or an activity-based office, work spaces generally consist of desks, chairs, and computers in a variety of configurations. Personal workspaces need to promote the needs of the business while also ensuring the comfort and efficiency of the individual worker.

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Current research into the misinterpretation and misapplication of Frank Lloyd Wright’s  open office plan has companies scrambling to adopt new equipment to address its downsides.

Additionally, studies showing how open-plan office setups can negatively impact worker productivity, creativity, and focus. The result has been a new demand for flexible workstations. 

Studies about open offices have also established how proponents of this style failed when assuming it would foster greater collaboration & personal interaction. It turns out not many workers felt like communicating with each other was a huge obstacle to begin with.

The biggest problems workers are facing is with excessive noise and distractions. At company's where there is no private space, these are impossible to avoid.

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Has your workplace adopted an open office floor plan? 

Have you experienced your work and train of thought being interrupted in the middle of typing an urgent, complicated report? 

Are there times when you just want to scream and shout at your office mates for being so noisy? Don’t worry. You're not alone.

 In fact, studies have shown that people working in both open-plan and cubicle settings are unhappy about the amount of sound privacy they have at work.  A small number of those who have their own offices expressed the same sentiment.

Of course, the open-plan office has accomplished a few things: more face time with your colleagues, maximized space and the resulting cost savings. 

But it hasn’t really done much for employees in terms of the level of collaboration, quality of communication, and productivity. Instead, people complain that being out in the open, forced to share space at close quarters, discourages open communication and leads people to lose focus, thereby reducing productivity and delaying work.

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We've read recent media reports of concerns about WeWork phone booths having potentially elevated levels of formaldehyde.  We suspect that these phone booths contained imported products that weren't subject to regulation, or that they weren't properly ventilated.  As we'll detail below, all Zenbooth products meet or exceed strict regulatory requirements and are properly ventilated.

Zenbooth Factory Showing

Background

Formaldehyde is a naturally occurring chemical compound that is a wide range of products - from apples to drinking water, to the desk you may be working at.  Typically, it does not pose a health risk to consumers, however, exposure to elevated levels of formaldehyde may lead to eye irritation or other symptoms. 

In the United States and other countries, there are regulations in place to protect people from chemicals like formaldehyde that could cause potential harm.

In particular, the EPA and California Air Quality Resource Board (CARB Phase II) has set strict standards for wood products (1). The wood we use to create our booths is tested, certified and labeled by our Californian vendors to meet those standards. 

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Supporters of the open office design once promised that it would improve face-to-face communication, collaboration, and office relations. Over time it failed to deliver on its supposed benefits. Instead it added too much distraction.

 Business owners had to come up with ingenious ways to counter the ill effects of the open-plan office. For companies that embraced it and realized they made a mistake, commercial privacy booths or office pods became a go-to solution.

This is not to say that the open-plan office has been a total failure. Open-plan offices help maximize space, save on costs, and increase face time among office workers.

However, studies have shown how open office spaces are also disruptive and how they negatively impact concentration, productivity, and efficiency at work.

 

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Executive office spaces are changing as organizations move away from the rigid and structured workspaces of the past. 

The world’s high-performing companies, from global giants like Apple and Vodafone to startups like Duolingo and Vital Proteins, are using flexible & inspiring office design to keep their executives focused and motivated at work.

The reality is, we know more than we ever have before about how office design and workplace features impact productivity – and the overall success of a company. 

Incorporating natural features in to your design and offering dedicated quiet spaces in the layout can transform a workplace. 

Companies are turning their offices into an inviting environment that people actually appreciate spending one-third of their lives in.

We also know that a poor office environment can be a deal-breaker, especially for well-educated executives. They have the skills and expertise to work for the most attractive employers, so they can be choosy. 

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There’s a lot more to designing your office than choosing a color scheme and whether you prefer the dark wood or glossy white furniture trend.

In order to ensure your workplace is somewhere that promotes maximum efficiency and productivity, you must carefully consider layout and functionality, as well the interior feel. 

Activity-based working (ABW) will be one of the hottest trends in office design in 2020. Companies that create their offices in this way find that they can maximize their use of available space and provide a better working experience for their employees.

 

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You don’t always need training and motivational programs to boost your employees’ morale and work productivity. 

According to a study conducted on employee output, 58% of Americans say they need quiet and private working conditions to improve their performance. 

For those working in an open office space, Zenbooth is an incredibly efficient and effective way to heighten your work environment for everyone involved.

Open office layouts can have major shortcomings that affect efficiency, such as noise, harsh lighting, over-the-shoulder lurking, and other disruptions from coworkers. 

A closed-plan office layout, on the other hand, aids in sorting our hierarchies, establishing personal space, and keeping a workspace organized.

Zenbooth is here to help create this new layout, without adding an impersonal or harsh aesthetic, or needing to expand the actual square footage of your office space.

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The idea of office workers contently typing or filing away in their own neat, little cubicles has been erased. 

Studies on stress, the need for a work-life balance and changing attitudes towards work have taken us far away from the rigid, traditional workplace. 

Old offices were setup in ways where interaction with others was discouraged.

There was also a false belief that keeping people cooped up was essential to productivity and focus.

In 2019 office workers demand more freedom in the general office layout. In fact, a survey involving global office workers showed that about 70 percent of them spend at least one day a week working remotely.

Both millennials and Gen Z-ers prefer to work in more open spaces, as long as they are also provided quiet places for when they want to work without distractions. 

Flexibility and easy access to private spaces where they can focus best are of prime importance to the success of this new generation of workers.

Given these facts, many companies have veered away from traditional office setups and have begun modernizing their commercial real estate.

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With millennials taking over the workforce, it's high time that you changed the look and design of your office to suit their tastes.

For your company to excel and achieve new heights of success, you need to ensure that your employees are happy and satisfied.

There's no better way to enhance their comfort than with a well-designed, cozy office. 

You can make your employees feel appreciated and valued, thus boosting their confidence and desire to work. 

To win over millennials, you need to think of several designs and layouts that might increase the aesthetics of the office. If you are not conversant with these office designs and layouts, fear not.

Have a read through these tips and start applying them today. 

Tip 1. Setting Aside "Home-Style" Office Areas

One thing about millennials is that they love socializing and getting to enjoy the company of friends. 

For your business to improve, you need to create a friendly environment where everybody is free to talk and socialize with each other.

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Are you looking to update your office layout? 

You may want to, considering that working in a comfortable office environment plays a significant role in boosting employee morale, mood, and productivity. 

These worker attributes will either directly or indirectly impact the success of your company.

The number of employees should not solely determine your choice of office layout. You should also factor in the type of work, amenities present, aesthetics, and company branding. 

Check out the following, trendy options that we think are worth a try. 

1. A Modified Open Space Layout 

      Following the recent proliferation of modern startups with new-age generation employees, open office layouts became very popular. 

      As the name suggests, this layout is characterized by an open working space, free from partitions. Working desks appear as clusters or in rows. 

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      When we hear the term ‘agile work environment,’ what usually comes to mind is hot-desking, working from home, or remote work. 

      However, agile working is all that and providing a unique office layout. It’s about giving workers the freedom and ability to perform their roles in the most appropriate place and time.

      Agile work allows for choice and flexibility in terms of where and when tasks are done, as long as work is delivered within reasonable timelines. 

      The principle behind agile working is that team members are adults – meaning they are mature, responsible, and trustworthy enough to be expected to perform their duties without much or any prodding. 

      It’s more about encouraging or guiding staff to act responsibly on their own volition.

      The beginnings of agile work environments

      Our familiarity with stress and the ever-present need to attain a work-life balance is one of the factors that has led to the evolution of the traditional, nine-to-five in-office work arrangement.

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      Before you choose new office furniture in 2019, look into the latest ideas about office layout & design. 

      Open offices have fallen out of favor after they were originally created to promote staff collaboration. Although the concept promotes communication with fellow employees, the openness can create too many distractions. 

      With no partitions between desks, employees have trouble focusing on their work. Private phone calls or confidential meetings often require a trudge to another office or building, disrupting work and wasting time.

      A New Direction 

      Today's high end modern office furniture fits with the new activity based working (ABW) environment. Like the open office, an ABW office promotes collaboration and communication. The difference is that a variety of workspaces are available for different employee needs. 

      Instead of assigned workspaces or a completely open office, employees can sit in an open area or move to a partitioned, private space. These environments promote concentration and remove the possibility of disruption.

      Below are 5 trendy examples of high end modern office and workspace furniture that reflect this need. 

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      There’s no question – the days of drab, monochrome office design are over. Rows of cubicles with identical chairs and tables can guarantee one thing: an uninspired and unhappy workforce. Your employees are your most important resource, and for them to be as productive as possible, they must enjoy the space that they work in.

      Luckily, creating a desirable workspace doesn’t have to mean buying the most expensive designer furniture. 

      Rather, the focus should be on design cues that will make your staff feel comfortable and appreciated. Here are 17 next-level tips that will have your staff excited to step through the office doors every morning.

      1. “Homestyle” Office Areas

      Even if your office space is a not a true activity-based workplace (ABW), agile workplace or similar concept, it's likely that you provide an area for workers to relax and/or have informal meetings. And if not – you certainly should!

      Every study done on the topic has shown that the addition of a purpose-designed place to relax comfortably at work greatly increases employee satisfaction, and as a result, productivity.

      A growing trend is to make these areas even more relaxing and inviting by using residential-like décor. Include furniture and fittings like sofas, low-slung coffee tables, plants, and even paintings and other wall decoration. 

      With this type of design, employees get a taste of the respite they feel on returning home.

      2. Old/New Fusion Furniture

      This one has proven to be particularly popular with employees around the globe. Perhaps as a result of many older spaces being repurposed as new office space, an emerging design trend is the bold juxtaposition of old design cues and infrastructure with very contemporary ones.

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      New trends are emerging in modern office furniture, with exciting opportunities for businesses to finally get the specialized layouts they desire. And companies can do so with a minimum amount of fuss and expense. 

      Whether your business is trying to solve problems associated with an open office format, or your simply trying to capitalize on agile office floor plans, there are solutions available.

      Here’s a look at some of the problems many companies routinely encounter and how these new modern furniture trends can come to the rescue, including activity-based work environments and office meeting booths like Zenbooth. 

      Why Executive Office Furniture is Needed In Open Plan Spaces

      Somewhere around the middle of the 20th century, open office floor plans took off. No longer were these layouts the purview of call centers and stock broker bull pens. 

      Even small offices in a variety of industries were adopting the open office concept.

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      Zenbooth is a California based company that has delivered comfort and quiet to some of the biggest brands in the world, including Lyft, Zenefits, Virgin and Samsung.

      Recently featured in the New York Times & CNBC, we set out with a mission to improve chaotic working environments and improve worker health with uniquely quiet office pods.

      In the Times article, it described how Gizmodo Media Group, home to some of the largest publications online, started off buying a few Zenbooths and trying them out with their writers and editors. The feedback was “positively positive” across the board. Soon more Zenbooths were ordered.

      office pods

      We know that this demand comes from workers. But why are they so desperately in need of an isolated space to focus?

      Employees feel that they can be more productive and reach their true potential with office pods. Indeed, studies have shown over and over again that noise is one of the most distracting, disruptive forces a person can experience when they desperately need to focus on intense tasks.

      In some cases it can take up to 23 minutes for an employee to get back on track. Over 54% of high performance workers say their office is too distracting. Yet today roughly 70% of offices have zero or law partitions.

      At Zenbooth, we don’t just promote office pods as a solution to workplace distractions. We actually use them. They’re great for video chats, phone calls, or just getting some alone time.

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      Zenbooth office pods are a unique and modern solution that enables you to provide quiet, distraction-free workspaces at your company. 

      Built for between one and six people to work free from noise and visual disruptions, Zenbooths are flexible enough to be for private 1v1 calls or group meetings.

      Below, we've listed 17 ways an office pod can upgrade your workspace, from health to utility. For questions about shipping or discounts, get in touch with us here. 

      1. Lower the stress & anxiety of your workers

      Working in an open plan office is known to increase the stress levels of employees, particularly those who are introverts.

      For folks who work best alone in a quiet environment, trying to concentrate in the hustle and bustle of an open office can be extremely daunting.

      Lack of privacy can also cause anxiety for individuals who are constantly worrying that what they’re doing can be seen at all times by a manager. 

      Some people just need a break from having to constantly interact with coworkers all day. For these individuals, an indoor office pod provides a convenient retreat where they can work in peace and privacy for as long as they need to.

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      As preconceptions about what an office or other workspaces ‘should’ look like continue to disappear, we are seeing some of the most innovative and exciting design trends in workplace history. 

      The rise of the open space office may have been the largest turning point, giving architects and desires a nearly blank canvas with which to work.

      Today, the driving force behind many trends is not as much what the office space looks like, but rather how it can best be used. The goal is to help employees work as efficiently as possible while supporting their health & well-being. 

      After all, a happy employee is a hard-working one! 

      Some of these trends may seem unusual or even counter-intuitive. But considering the positive employee feedback and mounting evidence through studies, the following office design trends are definitely some that your company should consider implementing.

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      Office phone booths & office pods can be valuable additions to your work space. They create an area where employees can focus on intense tasks, take private phone calls and decompress.

      Each model is a worthwhile investment when factoring in the improvement it makes to your staff's overall productivity & health. 

      You may not know enough about these relatively new products to make a purchasing decision.

      What kind of privacy booth should you buy and how will you know if it's durable, eco-friendly and safe? More importantly, what's the pricing like?

      There’s no need to spend hours on research - we’ve got all of the details right here.

      First - The Benefits of Office Phone Booths & Office Pods

      Let’s start with a quick overview of why you should be investing in these soundproof booths for your office quiet space.

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      Every organization recognizes that employee productivity and efficiency are instrumental to their bottom line. Studies suggest that the nature of activity-based working (ABW) can improve both of these important metrics as well as:

      • Employee satisfaction
      • Usage of office space
      • Operational cost reductions 

      So why hasn't your company adopted an ABW floor plan?

      Interestingly, the concept of ABW has actually existed for decades. But only in recent years have the advantages of ABW over traditional office settings - and even open office design - been more closely studied. 

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