The open office concept exploded in popularity over the past thirty years. What started as a mainstay of a few industries, notably journalism, grew into a fad embraced by the tech industry. According to the dominant theory, young people loved open office concepts because it fostered creativity and innovation.
Few took time to study whether or not this held water before adopting the concept themselves, mainly because it meant much lower construction costs.
Now four out of five offices in the United States have some form of the open office concept. Unfortunately, studies show that in many cases open offices fail to deliver on the promised expansion of creativity and innovation. They even, in many cases, bring higher costs.
A solution does exist in the form of portable, cost effective, and sturdy office phone pods that provide sanctuary for staff. Here are seven great benefits that come from embracing the office pod as an important addition to the open office concept.
Phone Pods Reduce Noise Distraction
A University of Sydney study indicated that almost two-thirds of workers in open office plans with low cubicle walls expressed dissatisfaction with the level of noise they had to endure. (No wonder the search of cubicle alternatives is on the rise.)
The open office concept theoretically brings brains together for productive collaboration, but in reality usually creates intrusive conversations.
Even worse, general background noise associated with offices, such as ringing telephones, talking, office machines in use, and even music piped in to try and muffle the noise can create distractions and even promote anxiety. Almost 60 percent of high performing employees say that they endure too much noise in their workplace.
Studies by psychologist Nick Perham have even shown that workers exposed to too much office noise struggle to perform even simple arithmetic problems.
The main culprit seems to be that constant low levels of noise stimulate the body’s production of epinephrine, a hormone linked to the body’s fight or flight response. This creates anxiety in some that can also lead to physical and mental problems.
Privacy booths like the ones Zenbooth provides - even if they do not serve as permanent spaces for each individual to work - do provide an area to escape the typical office cacophony.
Reduce Visual Distractions with Office Phone Pods
Focus can also be lost through visual distractions, and over 70 percent of American offices offer almost no wall space to block these out. Open offices hurt concentration by opening up a worker’s entire field of vision to everything that everyone else is doing. Visual distractions affect focus, productivity, and even memory negatively.
While visual distractions do not create the same mental and physical problems as office noise pollution, they do profoundly affect focus. Studies show that it can take up to 20 minutes to restore proper focus after experiencing a distraction.
Quiet pods block out sound and sight distractions, creating an area where an employee or employees can focus.
Company Phone Pods Provide a Better Area for Concentration on Individual and Group Projects
Writing reports, assembling spreadsheets, planning for presentations, collaborating with one or two other staff members on a project, all of these require concentration. An open office, however, allows no dedicated space where these endeavors can take place.
Employees have to flee the office to get work done. Working from home entirely defeats the purpose of collaboration with others. Going to a nearby coffee shop only helps slightly, due to the fact that at least no individuals will interrupt with conversation.
Open offices drive employees to find a refuge where they can do work. Would it not be great to have that refuge at the workplace?
Phone pods provide an excellent space to complete individual or collaborative projects that require focus and quiet to perform.
When You Need to Make a Private Phone Call, Use a Phone Pod
Phone calls alone represent a great reason to invest in pods. There are a number of reasons why people need a quiet space to make a phone call.
Many people, especially as they get older, find it more difficult to concentrate on a phone call when surrounded by noise, especially the conversation of others.
The call may be of a very personal nature and inappropriate for others to hear
The call may relate to important, but still unpublicized organizational strategies or tactics
The call may include information covered under federal privacy act rules. If such information leaks, the organization could be held liable
Regardless of a company or organization’s stance on whether or not open offices foster collaboration, certainly all can agree that running into the hallway or outside to take a phone call is a less than expedient solution. Office pods can make a difference in the quest for private phone call space.
Confidential Space for Strategizing
Businesses and other organizations often need space for a few top people to plan or discuss company issues. Open offices encourage free flows of information and total collaboration, but some issues only operate on a need to know basis. If everyone’s desk is located in the bullpen, then nowhere can organizational leadership meet on site to collaborate on confidential issues.
Office pods can come in small conference room sizes which allow up to four people to work in seclusion and quiet. Issues that leadership cannot yet share can be discussed in privacy
A Place to Hold Sensitive Personnel Meetings
Personnel meetings almost always require a private setting. Company leadership often needs to discuss issues one on one with individual workers, but an open setting for such conversations is often highly inappropriate. These issues can include those of discipline, employee evaluations, hiring or firing, and other important topics.
Since personnel problems can include the possibility of lawsuits, the organization should protect the confidentiality of such discussions. Small conference room style office pods provide the perfect setting to work out sensitive personnel issues.
Offering A Space to Get Away Could Boost Employee Health and Productivity
Office phone pods give employees a place to escape noise and visual overstimulation. They allow leadership and others to collaborate on issues requiring focus or privacy. They even provide a place where people can concentrate on their phone calls.
Enclosed office space can also help boost employee health. Studies show that workers in open offices take 62 percent more sick days than those not exposed to this kind of environment. These sick days come from increased stress and also more exposure to contagious illnesses.
Studies also show that workers in open offices are 15 percent less productive. Add up lost productivity and increased sick days and your company may have lost money in going to the open office.
Office pods can roll back the problems and stem the loss. Thankfully, they only cost a small fraction of what you would spend on constructing a traditional office while offering many of the advantages.
Where to Get Office Phone Pods to Meet Your Business Needs
Bring to your office the convenience and benefits of office pods, available from Zenbooth in phone booth or conference room sizes. Less costly than building traditional offices, Zenbooth pods will help roll back some of the problems that plague your open office.
Your staff will thank you! Reach out to Zenbooth today to place an order or to get more details about how to expand privacy and reduce distraction in your open office.