How to Use Privacy Booths for Commercial Offices

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.

Moreover, the visual and auditory disruptions that are characteristic of open workspaces are especially detrimental to the performance of tasks that require high levels of concentration such as creative and analytical work.

This is why privacy booths (a.k.a. office pods, or personal phone booths) already have a loyal following. In fact, they are considered the millennial solution to an age-old inherited problem. 

Office booths address privacy concerns in commercial offices

To office workers missing the respite offered by having some sort of wall separating them from the rest of the world, phone booths are their only haven.

One study in 2018 showed that open workspaces actually reduce face-to-face interaction by approximately 70 percent. This figure reflects a possible reaction to people’s weariness stemming from unwanted exposure. If you’ve been to one, or if your office is the same way, you’ll see why sharing desks with people sitting directly next to you, with very little space in between, can lead to social claustrophobia.

Instead of encouraging open communication, open workspaces increased electronic communication by 20 to 50 percent. Again, this can be interpreted as people’s way of dealing with their lack of privacy in the workplace. 

Instead of trying to talk over the noise, people turn to messaging apps to be “heard,” and to ensure privacy.

Privacy booths provide users the physical separation they crave. They also help to successfully filter out visual and auditory disruptions. This way, users can handle phone calls and hold video conferences in complete seclusion. 

Privacy booths are an essential feature of agile workplaces

The disadvantages of the traditional office space are widely known. Whether it’s open-plan or divided with cubicles, the problems identified with these setups paved the way for the need for flexible or agile workspaces. 

This, of course, is reinforced by the fact that the millennial workforce demands more freedom and flexibility. The new generation of workers wants freedom not only in terms of work arrangements but also in the type of workspaces they can use.

These optional work areas include office pods, project areas, hot desks, breakout spaces, biophilic or green informal meeting areas, and communal or flexible spaces for group meetings.

Even though employees want privacy, no one really wants to revert back to closed offices. This is why office pods are currently the best solution. 

They balance people’s need for alone time while making it possible to work in a mostly open, fluid workspace. 

They can be used to facilitate confidential or private meetings, for efficient call handling, for performing focused work, and for simply sitting and decompressing from the stress and noise often found in the office environment.

Commercial privacy booths are a cost effective, space-saving option

One of the fundamental reasons why open-plan offices gained immense popularity is that increasing real estate prices made ideal commercial spaces virtually inaccessible, especially for startups. Aside from the typically expensive lease, business owners also needed to factor in the cost of fitting out an entire office as well as expenses for office equipment and supplies.

So when the tides turned against open-plan offices, privacy booths became the go-to alternative for business owners who wanted to save money and maximize available space at the same time. 

Privacy booths do not require expensive installation work. They are also relatively more affordable compared to conducting office renovation work. Moreover, privacy booths are flexible enough to fit into whatever available space there is, are movable, and entail minimal interruption to operations during installation.

Office phone booths are now deeply embedded in the flexible commercial work culture

Aside from the adoption of privacy booths, coworking office service providers also feature them among their menu of choices offered to members. 

Here, people have the advantage of discussing project details and other confidential information such as pricing, deadlines, and suppliers in the privacy of a booth.

Countries like Japan have already experimented with the concept of “station booths” or the ekinaka, which are individual-use or mini offices installed in busy train stations.


Travelers have access to free Wi-Fi and the soundproof ekinaka is also fitted with a desk, a sofa and is comfortably heated. These station booths are designed to support flexible work arrangements including telecommuting and remote work.

Because of the convenience these workspace options provide, it won’t be long before similar facilities are adopted in different companies and countries worldwide.

Zenbooths – the answer to your office privacy needs

As one of the leading manufacturers of privacy booths, Zenbooth offers different model units designed to address multiple business requirements.

  • Comfort Booth: This is a freestanding privacy booth meant for single person use. Here, individual users can hold private phone calls and video conferences and work in relative peace and quiet, without fear of interruption or distractions.
  • Executive XL Booth: This model is perfect for one-on-one meetings or small group meetings involving up to three people. Users can conduct interviews, engage in private conversations, discuss projects, or simply decompress before embarking on new or urgent projects.
  • Executive Room: Being the largest Zenbooth model, this booth can comfortably house between four and six occupants. It’s a great space that's ideal for brainstorming sessions or collaborative work. This way, there’s no need to book an entire conference room.

Each Zenbooth has the following features and benefits:

  • They're fitted with 3.5-inch thick wall insulation, as well as echo reduction panels. They can block 40 dBs of noise.
  • Zenbooths are fitted with motion-activated fans that are constantly circulating fresh and cool air.
  • They are designed with a full skylight ceiling, thereby ensuring the optimal penetration of natural light.
  • Connectivity features such as electrical outlets, USB outlets, and data ports are ready for use so you can use all of your devices.
  • Zenbooths easily fit most spaces and are clean and sleek. However, users can also customize the booths if they want to integrate branding designs or want their booths to complement office interiors.
  • The Comfort and Executive XL Booths feature an easy-to-use electric adjustable desk option.
  •  Zenbooths are designed for easy assembly and installation. However, you also have the option to get your unit assembled by a Zenbooth team member.

Aside from providing all the benefits and features associated with high quality privacy booths, Zenbooths are constructed using hardwearing, sturdy materials that are lightweight and easy to clean.

And if your company upholds the principle of eco-consciousness, you will find Zenbooths to be your perfect partner. That's because the material we use for our products is sourced from both recycled wood and sustainable forests.

Time to make a change

If you are currently seeing or experiencing the adverse effects of the open office setup in your own company, it may be time to think of adopting privacy booths. 

After all, it’s a small investment that can make a world of difference in the lives of your staff and your company.

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