The secret to boosting workplace productivity and employee well being isn’t always an incentive program. It’s not always having the trendiest employee gifts in your industry or setting up mindfulness Mondays and Pilates on Fridays.
A major key is offering a quiet pod where your employees can think, focus, and get work done without distraction. Having quiet pods in the office creates a haven for your workers to retreat to when they need peace and want to drown out office noise.
Today, more than ever, with so many businesses using an open plan workspace, giving your employees a place to step away from the distractions and the overwhelming collaborative environment in order to be alone is a simple yet effective way to empower them to do their job.
At the same time, it signals to them that their peace of mind matters to their employer – letting them know the company they work for cares about their health and happiness.
Quiet Pods Solve The Office Distraction Dilemma
Without uninterrupted periods of work, accomplishing challenging tasks is next to impossible. Over half of high-performance employees believe their workplace is too distracting. Noise and peripheral movement have the ability to draw away attention, forcing employees to continually have to work towards regaining focus.
This can add up to a serious drain on productivity – a study by Berlin Humboldt University revealed that it can take up to 23 minutes to fully restore focus after an interruption. Add up the multiple interruptions in a day, a week, or a month, and each individual is sacrificing a lot of valuable work time to fighting the distraction problem.
Years ago, the office environment consisted of closed spaces, such as individual offices or cubicles. This offered a fair degree of privacy and quiet. But today, around 70% of offices use an open environment.
The open design workspace – rows of desks and work tables, in one grand open space – leaves almost no barriers between individuals and no protection for visual and audible distractions. As a result, the typical office worker spends 40 hours a week, or about one-quarter of their waking hours, in a state of permanent distraction. Similarly, agile workspaces aren't fully complete without a designated office quiet zone.
Office chatter, co-workers walking by, phones ringing – all of this adds up to a constant stream of acoustic chaos.
The open floor plan idea first started taking form in the 1950s. It was initiated by a team in Hamburg, Germany with the intent to foster better communication and collaboration in the workplace. While the theory of open space-open idea flow sounds appealing, it never translated well into practice.
In fact, it has created a huge roadblock to focus and the ability to engage in deep work, that mental mode that yields the best results at whatever task you are doing, from analytical tasks to the creative.
Studies performed in the late 1990s, and then again more recently, have consistently found that open spaces are disruptive. This disruption leads to higher levels of stress and distraction at work – not the innovation and free-flowing ideas that were supposed to happen.
Wall Street Journal columnist Sue Shellenbarger sums up the result of the open concept well: “All of this social engineering has created endless distractions that draw employees’ eyes away from their own screens. Visual noise, the activity of movement around the edges of an employees’ field of vision, can erode concentration and disrupt analytical thinking or creativity.”
Quiet Pods Are Bringing Focus Back to the Work Place
Quiet office pods bring the focus back to work by eliminating the distractions. Office pods are a modular, flexible, cost-effective solution for today’s organizations who want to give their employees the ability to get what they need out of their work environment.
Made from solid maple wood and integrating the powerful sound blocking benefits of a double pane glass door, the quiet office pods designed by Zenbooth offer the ultimate calm. They stop up to 40 decibels of noise, bringing down the sound level of a typical co-worker conversation – at 60 decibels – to an almost inaudible level.
Workers can go into an office pod when they need to drown out the sounds of a loud workspace in order to concentrate.
More Quiet Leads to Less Stress
Another benefit of having work pods and an option of working in peace and quiet is stress reduction. In an open environment, there is the frustration of continually being interrupted, the agitation of constant noise, and a lack of privacy as co-workers and managers can both see and over-hear the work you are doing. All of these factors make the workplace environment itself stressful.
Added stress at work makes it harder to be creative. It can contribute to health issues like higher blood pressure, headaches, and fatigue. Studies have shown that people who have to work around constant noise have higher levels of stress hormones.
And, the more stressful a work environment is, the less people are excited about coming to work every day, which can drag down morale & make it harder for people to stay motivated about their job.
Stepping into a quiet booth, people can get rid of the stressors, making the office a more comfortable, inviting place to be.
Quiet Pods Foster Collaboration
The beauty of privacy booths is that workers can even collaborate together from inside. This allows people to confidently share ideas and have discussions, without worrying about other people listening or distracting their co-workers.
Zenbooth has quiet office pods in two different sizes. The larger, Executive Booth has plenty of space for workplace meetings involving two people. In a busy workplace, a work pod offers an ideal environment for stepping outside of a noisy, dynamic room into a dedicated space for collaboration.
With the insulated wooden construction, anyone in the booth can talk and brainstorm with confidence because only the people inside the pod can hear them.
Workers can also use the roomy single office pods, the Comfort Booths, for virtual meetings with remote co-workers or business associates. Each booth comes with electrical outlets inside the booth, including two outlets, USB charging ports, and an open port for cable or Ethernet, making it easy to take advantage of the tranquil, private space for virtual communications.
Providing Quiet Is a Morale Booster
Another advantage of having quiet office pods in the workplace is they are great for boosting morale. Having to spend eight hours a day surrounded by other people and all that noise is not only distracting, it can be a huge energy drain for people who are sensitive to their environment.
Knowing they can escape into peace and calm to get work done when they need can be a relief.
Even for those who aren’t sensitive to noise and commotion, it’s still important to have access to quiet. Quiet gives the brain a break. Even putting on headphones and listening to music stimulates different areas of the brain and forces activity.
We all need periods of quiet and calm to relax, slow down, and collect ourselves. This is especially relevant in the workplace, where people are expected to be in ‘on mode’ for close to a straight eight hours a day, every weekday.
Quiet Office Pods Are Designed for Working Bliss
Quiet work pods don’t just allow employees to focus, de-stress, and to collaborate in peace, they are also designed for total comfort. Each booth comes with two exhaust fans, which are almost impossible to hear, to keep the interior as quiet as possible.
They provide a constant stream of fresh air when someone is inside – Zenbooths have motion sensors that activate the ventilation fans when someone comes in to work.
Built into each booth is a 40-inch tall desktop. Workers can bring in their laptop or other device, their written work, or whatever other tools they need to get things done and comfortably work on the desk, either sitting in a chair or standing on the cushioned floor.
A study by the American Society of Interior Designers found that when employees are happy with their workspace, they are over 30% more likely to be content with their job. Instead of doing a full office renovation to create barriers, privacy, and quiet, quiet pods provide just what workers need to in an open office space.
It’s the best of both worlds and a solution offices can implement right now because the product is so cost-effective. Not having to invest lots of money for a major change, which would itself be disruptive and could make some workers uncomfortable if they have grown accustomed to being in an open space.
Ready for the next evolution in the office work environment ? Contact the Zenbooth team today to find out how easy it is to give your team the quiet they need to be more effective, and more satisfied, at work.