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.
People need privacy and quiet time to de-stress and to focus. Without these, employees working in open-plan workspaces, even the extroverts, find themselves getting burned out.
With this in mind, many companies with open-plan office spaces have begun to invest in flexible workspace options. This includes communal work areas, as well as partitions, hot desks, couches, bookable conference rooms, and outdoor spaces.
For employees requiring time away from the noise of the office, enclosed office pods or personal phone booths are a great solution because of their efficiency and flexibility. To learn more, keep reading about the seven ways office pods keep workers focused and refreshed.
1. They stimulate creative thinking
A lot of tasks require high levels of concentration, including typing or coding, writing, calculating, and analyzing. For creatives like writers, editors, illustrators, architects, and graphic designers, peace and quiet are a must.
Since these professionals need to work with elements like words or artwork details, distractions and noise can affect how creativity flows. For writers and editors, they need to mentally “hear” how the words they deliberately choose convey a message—something that’s next to impossible in an open-plan office space.
The same can be said for visual artists who need zero distractions in order to adequately visualize a pattern, design, or concept they are working on.
2. They help employees focus on the task at hand
Having a quiet space is essential for the work of accountants and financial analysts, and people who prepare complicated or comprehensive reports.
Even data encoders or typists require a more private environment to efficiently do their jobs without committing errors.
And while a bit of socializing and chitchat may be necessary for people taking short, quick breaks from the monotony of work, these can also be annoyances in open workspaces. Busy workers feel irritated when a neighbor stops by to talk just as they are about to finish writing an important document.
Work relations can also suffer when those who are averse to small talk end up being judged as closed off, rude, non-team workers, or unsympathetic.
3. A reduction in physical and auditory distractions
Physical distractions are particularly difficult to block in open-plan offices. If you momentarily take a break from looking at your monitor, what do you see?
People typing, walking, and generally looking stressed, just like you. Such distractions negatively impact productivity, concentration, and even memory.
Of course, there’s nothing like background noise to interrupt your train of thought. The sound of ringing telephones, message alerts, and even vibrating smartphones are a lot to deal with.
Then there’s loud conversations, the sound of machines in use, and even the music that’s supposed to help people relax; all of these combine to induce anxiety and make it hard to focus.
People constantly exposed to background noise tend to struggle with simple arithmetic and have trouble remembering things.
Studies have shown that constant exposure to low-level noise stimulates the production of epinephrine, which is a hormone linked to the body’s fight or flight response to stress or perceived threats. These regular doses of epinephrine can lead to both physical and mental problems.
With office pods, users get the privacy, peace, and quiet they crave—and need in order to efficiently do their work.
4. Office pods give users a chance to decompress
To effectively deal with the daily stress people are exposed to, especially at work where they spend at least 40 hours per week, workers need a space to detox or decompress.
With the availability of office pods, employees have opportunities to take mini breaks away from the noise and distractions of work. These short breaks are known to prevent burnout and boost productivity. They give employees a chance to briefly recharge and reorganize their thoughts and priorities for the day.
In a noisy office environment, you will find that there are moments when you simply need to be alone to be able to come up with brilliant ideas and organize your tasks efficiently for the day or week.
5. A better way to take phone calls
If you have ever been on a phone call with a supplier, and you are the one asking for an update on a particular material order, you know how irritating it can be to have to repeat yourself over and over, simply because the person on the other end can’t hear you through the noise.
Conversely, you don’t want to seem unprofessional during a phone call with a VIP by asking them to keep repeating what they are saying because you can’t hear in the middle of your noisy office.
With an office pod, you can address all of these concerns whether you need to take an official or private phone call. You can also attend video conferences privately, without fear of interruption.
6. Improved collaboration
On the surface, this may seem like an antithetical statement. How can enclosed office pods that physically separate people encourage collaboration?
Actually, it’s not to say that people should isolate themselves in office pods to come up with great ideas. It’s more about providing employees with facilities that they can use freely at their convenience so they can work comfortably.
This is essentially the aim of agile workspaces that provide breakout spaces, informal meeting areas, project areas, and flexible spaces for large groups, as well as semi-private or private meeting areas for smaller groups.
Office pods are not only built for individual users. Zenbooths, for example, has models designed to accommodate two to three people, as well as units that can comfortably house as many as six.
By giving options for people to privately brainstorm ideas, you are essentially giving them safe spaces that encourage lively interaction and collaboration.
7. They encourage movement
Everyone is already familiar with the fact that a sedentary lifestyle poses serious health consequences. Staying seated for most of the day, every day, is known to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, type II diabetes, and an overall shortened lifespan.
With office pods like Zenbooth that offer adjustable desk options, you have the freedom to sit or stand while working. Moving every once in while or shifting from completely sitting to standing and vice versa helps improve blood circulation as well. This, in turn, helps re-energize the body.
Ready to invest in enclosed office pods?
If you’ve noticed how the lack of privacy, noise, and the physical distractions have begun taking their toll on your team, consider investing in office pods.
Instead of having your office undergo expensive refurbishing work, or moving to an entirely new office, you can simply partner with a reputable and trusted provider.
At Zenbooths, you have several options to choose from that are guaranteed to address your office requirements. Moreover, we believe in our Zenbooths so much that we offer a three-year warranty to all of our clients.
If you want to discuss how Zenbooths can make a difference in the lives of your employees and your bottom line, all you need to do is get in touch.
We’d be happy to help.