Zenbooth Blog

Posts tagged "quiet room"

In 2016, we at Zenbooth set out on a mission to help individuals overcome the challenges of the “open-office” and introduced the single-person Comfort Booth. Now, after several iterations, the new two-person model is tackling even more of those pain points, such as the lack of adequate spaces to have private conversations.

From small businesses to larger corporate offices, the open-concept floor plan has made it challenging for the modern worker to not only collaborate with others, but to simply find focus. Conference rooms are often scarce. They can be difficult to book, or simply too much room for one or two people to occupy, when the room could be used for larger groups. The Executive Booth XL is the answer for employers looking for ways to make better use of their space.


When the majority of workers in the U.S. say they feel distracted, they're quick to blame technology. In fact, according to the "Udemy in depth: 2018 Workplace Distraction Report", 69% of workers "struggle" to cope with interruptions at work. 

But could the problem be more nuanced than that and can designated office quiet zones be the solution? It's not that workers are distracted by technology so much as they're using technology as a means to distract themselves from bigger priorities.

office quiet zone

Work productivity in the age of the open office space.

Udemy's survey finds that the main reasons for employee distraction include: "chatty coworkers (80%), office noise (70%)," as well as disruptions through "small talk and office gossip." 

In other words, productivity is being fractured in open office workspace designs.


Open space work design began with the best intentions. The idea behind them was to get people sharing knowledge, conversing, and increasing the creativity pool thus creating a more productive work environment.

Without the barriers of cubicle walls or partitions between work-spaces employees could collaborate much more easily and ultimately would work harder. It is difficult to be a slacker when everything you do is on public display.

Open work spaces seemed like the ideal solution for a corporation that wanted to better monitor its employees and encourage teamwork. What actually happened is another story altogether.

The Need for Open Office Quiet Rooms

A study was published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology in December 2013 that found open-plan layouts were more disruptive than office-type layouts due to “uncontrollable noise and loss of privacy.”

The expectation of enhanced interaction unexpectedly increased the noise in the workplace leading to greater employee dissatisfaction. What the great thought leaders wanted was a big open space where everyone worked together to create big things. What they got was a big open space that felt like a company picnic in the park, people milling about making conversation and catching up on yesterday’s news.

Enclosed private offices clearly performed better than open-plan layouts in many areas. Employees value their privacy more than the atmosphere of open space working.

As with most things in life, open space offices have both advantages and disadvantages. The question is do the pros outweigh the cons? For example, open plan offices are more economical. You can pack more employees into more work space but in doing so you also increase the noise level which has been shown to reduce employee performance.


If you ask around, many people will tell you that the open office is a millennial concept. They will also tell you that the backlash against the open office layout is a new thing.

But the truth is that the first open office layouts, with long rows of workers all seated together in one room, has been around almost since the first offices came to be. And though there are studies going back to the 1980’s showing that noise, distractions and privacy are an issue - as much as 70% of offices now feature an open layout.

When you add in the fact that flexible remote work options are more popular than ever, the flexibility that open office layouts present becomes even more attractive. In a world that is always on the search for the next trend, or the most revolutionary technology - innovation is key to a successful business.

The ease of collaboration in an open office allows this to happen. However, studies have shown that an open office can actually hurt collaboration and have a serious effect on productivity.

So how do you enjoy the benefits of an open office layout, take advantage of the power of remote workers, and give your team access to distraction free areas that promote better teamwork and collaboration?

A simple solution that is as versatile and cost effective as the open plan layout are office phone booths such as the Executive Room from Zenbooth. So to help you decide if our Zenbooths are the best solution for your business - here are some advantages.


Research suggests that the era of the open-plan office is coming to an end. Why? Because they actually negatively affect productivity and stress levels.

The truth is that different workers require different kinds of space for different kinds of activities. Having the option to work among others in the office as well as getting some quiet and private space when necessary is essential for a productive workforce.

Corporate quiet rooms are the way forward for modern offices – with a wide range of benefits, including increased productivity, as we will demonstrate.


Controlling the stimuli coming in

A study carried out inside a big furniture company discovered that there are two reasons why people want more privacy in the office. The first reason is that they need to control the stimuli that are coming in to their environment.

You will probably see examples of this easily if you glance around an open office. One popular trick with office workers is to put headphones in their ears, even if they are not listening to music.

Background noise can be very distracting, and when your business requires accurate and fast work, that can have a serious effect on productivity levels.