The rise of the open office has been a quest to devise the ideal environment that naturally fosters workplace collaboration and therefore accelerates results. A worthwhile and idealistic notion, but one that has encountered serious impediments to success and is now indicative of the need to approach workplace design in a more conscientious fashion.
Zenbooth is trying to support changing attitudes toward work, and that means promoting increased flexibility with office phone booth furniture. This should infer supporting however you need to work in order to perform your best and deliver productive results.
Put simply, opening up the workspace and herding your entire team into the same room multiplies the potential for an overload of sensory stimulation. Sight lines lead the eye to every movement, while conversations cease to endow privacy.
The tradition of reserving gossip for the water cooler becomes irrelevant as everything is heard by willing (or unwilling) ears. Perhaps as an indication of the need for privacy and focus, colleagues don noise-canceling earphones and disappear into self-created bubbles of seclusion.
Silence descends upon the office, punctuated only by keystrokes and furtive glances. It’s difficult to tell whether this is an improvement on the prior state of affairs, or if something else entirely is required to obviate the deathly enforced stillness.
Perhaps this vision of working seems rather draconian or far-fetched? It must indeed be noted that open-plan workspace has been researched and shown to foster a symbolic feeling of organizational mission, but such sentiments soon disappear under a blanket of productivity loss, reduced creativity, shortened attention spans, and general unhappiness.
There is, however, something to be said for the experience of the open office. It can feel transparent and an environment in which clear visibility must mean an honest expression of information. Perhaps critically, it shuns the extensive tradition of establishing visible hierarchies by closing doors, promoting aspirational needs to advance to a window office, and the feeling of informational dishonesty.
Fewer walls, more clarity, fewer errors and greater productivity.
So if many companies have already invested architecturally in the open workspace paradigm yet are experiencing challenges, what are the cubicle alternatives for creating a more workable vision for the healthy functioning space?
Introducing Office Phone Booth Furniture
Well, something needs to change.
The need for privacy is a natural human instinct, and if the failure of the open office paradigm were to be summed up most succinctly it would be that there is no room for privacy. In fact, 58% of high-performance employees state they need more quiet at work, and 54% simply find the workplace full of too many distractions.
Therefore, analyzing the existing space and assessing how a solution can be implemented to provide access to privacy is a logical progression. By creating pockets of quiet, the existing problems can be mitigated.
Zenbooth is a lead office phone booth furniture company tackling this problem by supplying quiet space solutions for any kind of workplace scenario.
We decided to design private, quiet phone booths for the modern workplace. They are engineered for optimal noise blocking performance so that access to truly quiet, meditative focus space can always be a viable option. They can be treated just as classic phone booths, or more flexibly as office pods for contemplative or high-intensity task completion.
Sometimes this only requires a few minutes of peace, or if longer periods are needed, the phone pods can function as an effective workspace for however long is required.
The range is kept simple and x2 sized booth options are offered. Zenbooth products are designed for modular implementation. A single booth can work adequately within a smaller company, or several booths distributed across larger spaces as needed.
Modular scaling means the system can adapt to company needs, as opposed to the significant over-investment in dedicated conference facilities that is often overkill for smaller working groups. All of our office phone booths are portable.
The Comfort Booth is for single person use and the Executive Booth for two seated occupants, more if standing. Each can be specified in either maple or a white/maple finish to blend in effectively with the surrounding office space decor.
Office Phone Booth Specifications
Each booth is manufactured in California with care using eco-friendly materials sourced from local Bay Area suppliers. Laminated wood paneling from US forest sources blends with high-quality aluminum on the doors to create a high-end finish, and together with insulation comprising ground denim material, the result is excellent thermal and acoustic baffling and a booth that feels truly sealed from intrusion.
Each booth is engineered to block up to 40 decibels of noise, comfortably cancelling out the similar levels experienced in the average open office environment.
Logically, we have also engineered a complete interior powered ventilation system to enable working for any length of time required. The system is motion sensor-activated and the fans run silently. Device power access is located inside, with two USB ports and a workstation so that nothing further is needed.
The plexiglass door affords open visibility so that the booths are private, yet part of the visible workplace fabric. We understand that extreme privacy can also lead to device-related distraction, so the visible element of the occupant works akin to the experience of anonymity among crowds in cafe-based working.
Finally, all phone booths are conceived to allow simple assembly. The Comfort Booth requires one hour and the Executive a little longer. Required equipment is kept minimal, and a hand drill will suffice. This means company operations need not grind to a halt, and of course, the booths can be just as simply disassembled to allow transfer to new locations as required.
Start Increasing Your Office Productivity with Modern Phone Booth Furniture
Zenbooths work for several reasons. Primarily, the superb modular flexibility of the products means that implementation makes bottom-line financial sense as well as a pragmatic choice for company growth. Making the transition from startup to successful enterprise, and even moving locations can mean transporting your office booths with you to continue serving the need for privacy.
Next, they simply work. Naturally, they are superbly effective for the provision of refuge, but perhaps more interestingly they are also perfect for sealing off noise. Consider the average company with colleagues performing multiple assigned tasks. Generally, those deemed the ‘noisemakers’ tend to be in the proactive sales and marketing-oriented positions, those whose talents lie in exuding confidence and projecting their voices to make magic happen.
Consider sealing off the noisy, talkative coworkers so they can effectively focus on private conversations or calls, leaving the rest of the office space unimpeded by their necessary volume levels.
Zenbooths endow privacy, yet they also isolate noise and deliver peace!
Using office phone booths can also initiate changes in personal behavior that lead to systemic operational shifts. Physical conference rooms instill a cultural need to arrange endless meetings to make use of those spaces.
Certainly, a weekly all-hands meeting may be worthwhile and valid, but Americans possibly waste up to 35% of their time (more for upper management) in meetings in general. Installing a Zenbooth develops an office-wide inclination toward shorter, more agile and personalized gatherings that quickly push for resolution.
As such, using phone booths can be seen as promoting a general work continuum, or flow state, in your company's working attitude. After all, rigid conference room meetings can be disruptive to workflows when you may not necessarily need to attend. Devising mechanisms to ensure your flow state is as continuous as possible, with shorter and more effective meeting interludes, will keep you in focus and on point.
The Conclusion on Phone Booth Furniture
At Zenbooth, we love seeing how our products truly make a difference in the way companies develop their working potential. The solution fills a gap somewhere between the yearning for the perceived benefits of open workspaces and the unwillingness to return to a fully segregated and hierarchic interior architecture that excludes and diminishes.
Working with phone booths is a logical middle ground solution that is simple to implement both on the balance sheet and within the company culture. Users find consistent delight in either protection or seclusion from ambient noise when immediate sharp task-oriented focus is required, to pleasure at isolating disruptive noise from the general office ambiance.
However you decide to implement and use them, booths or pods provide a fundamentally necessary element of the human working experience, that of accessible privacy. The default working environment cannot only be the open workspace because this marginalizes those who may not operate effectively in public space.
The open office will always favor the extroverted character, simply because that is the energy that makes more noise. Consideration of all types of characters is inherent in creating a meritocratic workplace that is respectful of talent, and that means evolving where we work to encompass and encourage everyone to work to his or her greatest potential.
Zenbooth aims to deliver on that potential by providing private spaces that work within any architecture, for any size company or requirement from early startup to established enterprise or corporate.