Two common buzzwords for modern office design are 'open office' and 'activity-based workspace.'
The second trend can be used to maximize the effectiveness of the first. That's because an open office lacks the flexibility necessary to complete all the steps in single a project.
Collaboration, transparency and ease of sharing are indeed easier without walls that divide people. However, while open offices have these advantages, they also have drawbacks.
Privacy is non-existent, concentration suffers and it's hard to avoid noise and distractions in a large open workplace.
An activity-based plan includes a variety of settings suited to the tasks that people need to complete. Besides desks and computers, employees need spaces to rest, relax, concentrate and collaborate.
Combining an open office plan with activity-based settings is a smart way to take advantage of the best features of each style.
Open Office Plan Advantages & Obstacles:
Benefits of an open office include:
- Rapid communication
- Ease of supervision
- Immediate feedback
- Less costly
Some of the common complaints are:
- Lack of privacy
- Difficulty concentrating
- Noise pollution
One of the major drawbacks of an open office plan is the tendency to stifle creativity. New and useful ideas can hatch if a worker can find the uninterrupted time and space to follow up on them. Some of the most innovative work is completed with no input or monitoring by others.
According to Business News Daily, distractions aren't just annoying to workers; they cost businesses billions of dollars each year. Over 70 percent of employees in one survey reported interruptions in the workplace that affected their job performance.
Noise pollution at work is one health issue that isn't often recognized in an office environment. Workplaces with high ceilings and hard floors can bounce sound around, especially in an open office.
The energy needed to block out extraneous noise can eventually take a toll on employee performance. And the continuous low-level stress can have negative effects on morale and job satisfaction.
Activity-Based Workplaces Offer Perfect Meeting Spaces
Activity-based solutions provide work areas that are geared toward specific tasks. With a quiet space for intensive work, interviews or meetings, the flow of communication in an open office is smoother.
Conference rooms are especially vital for holding meetings without disruptions. For example, without a dedicated space for meetings, hosting a video conference sends noise and distraction to the rest of the office.
An open office and an activity-based plan don't have to be mutually exclusive. Giving employees the ability to get away from distractions, interruptions and noise is the key to making an open office plan work. People also need to step out of the public eye from time to time.
One of the worst stresses for many people in an open environment is the necessity of making personal phone calls in a public setting. It can also be hard to give a client or customer undivided attention on the phone amid noise and distractions.
Whether it's for relaxation, collaboration or concentration, the activity-based workplace provides niches for activities instead of tying a worker to a desk all day. It can be successfully integrated with an open plan with the right furniture.
Zenbooth's Portable Meeting Pods
A Zenbooth provides a quiet oasis for uninterrupted work, reducing the sound level and eliminating outside distractions.
The Comfort Booth, Executive Booth XL and Executive Room provide space for a variety of tasks. Whether a business has an open office plan, activity-based workplace or a combination of both, the Zenbooth is the perfect way to add needed space and privacy.
The quiet, self-contained modules have built-in ventilation and lighting, and the Comfort Booth and Executive Booth XL include an optional adjustable desk. They are easy to set up and move, and Zenbooths muffle noise so that conversations can't be overheard outside them.
With our modules, workers can make personal calls in privacy, give full attention to client and customer phone calls, and spend quality time concentrating on vital assignments. Zenbooths are also handy for collaborating on projects, interviewing potential employees and hosting video conferences.
Portable Meeting Pods Designed With the Best Materials
Our thick, echo-resistant insulated wall panels reduce sound so that private conversations stay inside. Users won't feel closed-in because of the full ceiling skylights in each module. To save energy, built-in LED lighting and ventilation automatically begin only when the booths are occupied.
And the fans bring in fresh air while they keep occupants cool and comfortable.
The wood panels are environmentally sourced from local providers, and the high-grade aluminum for the door frames is manufactured in California. Clear skylights are composed of lightweight shatter-proof plexiglass, and the doors are made with tempered safety glass.
Auto-latching doors have spring hinges and magnetic frames for a tight seal that assists with sound-dampening. Zenbooths are also lightweight enough to be moved to the best location in the workspace.
Uses and Benefits
The full connectivity and comfort of a Zenbooth module give users everything they need at their fingertips. Laptops can be plugged in and connected to data ports, and there's room to spread out written reference materials.
Private phone calls can be made in a booth without sharing personal details with the entire office. Client proprietary information is also shielded from employees who don't fall into the 'need to know' category.
Having a quiet space to work allows the user to focus on details better. While headphones may block office noise, they can also be uncomfortable, and they don't help with visual interference. Inside a Zenbooth module, both audio and visual distractions are blocked for enhanced concentration.
Zenbooths can be equipped with a landline and/or placed in a location with the best signal for cell phone use. Each model is built according to fire codes and is accessibility-compliant for use by any employee. To get started, all you have to do is plug your new Zenbooth into a standard 3-prong 110-volt electrical outlet.
Another handy feature of the Zenbooth is the adjustable desk available in the Comfort Booth and Executive Booth XL. The powered desk automatically adjusts from 28" to 54", allowing users to work sitting or standing in the most comfortable position.
Conference Pods for 2-6 People
The 4-6 person Executive Room serves all of these functions, and it can also be used for larger meetings, video conferences and audio presentations. The Executive Booth XL and Executive Room are both available with a light maple or white exterior, and both have soothing maple-colored interior walls.
Excellent Customer Service
Companies that have installed Zenbooths have expressed overwhelmingly positive feedback about the quality of customer service.
We'll work with you to find the best solution for your individual needs, and customer support doesn't stop after the purchase.
"Outstanding", "professional" and "white glove service" are some of the comments from satisfied clients regarding our service and support.
Zenbooths come with a three-year warranty, and we'll go the extra mile to make sure your needs are met.
The lightweight panels are shipped flat, and they're easy to assemble. Your company will receive the order within days, and our no-risk guarantee includes free shipping and a 30-day return policy.
However, we're convinced you'll want to keep your Zenbooth once you've experienced the difference it makes in your work environment.
Call one of our experienced customer representatives today to discuss how Zenbooth can streamline your company's workflow while boosting employee satisfaction.