The Evolution of Phone Booths and How to Pick One30 Nov 2020
We’ve said ‘good-bye’ to the cubicles a decade ago; moved to open plan offices to promote a flatter hierarchical corporate structure and lets face it pack more people in a smaller space and promote more collaboration.
It still doesn’t work - too loud, no privacy, no status, constantly distracted & productivity starts plummeting. In 2010, Samu Hällfors worked in an office with 100 other people and had gotten fed up with listening to his boss constantly talk on the phone, when asked to find another place to have his conversations, he apparently responded “Well, buy me a phone booth”, Since there weren’t any office phone booths on the market, Hällfors and a co-founder decided to make one and named the Finish company Framery!
Phone Pods have since evolved growing in capacity, features and technology integrations, with virtually every workspace solutions manufacturer releasing a product or suite of products in the phone pod space. Almost a decade since its inception Phone Pods are still in high demand highlighting that workspaces have no alternative to privacy currently.
Five Steps to picking a Phone booth
Understand your size
- To take phone calls
- Video Conferencing
- Two person or four person meetings
Ensuring your brand of Pod providers has a wide range of solutions from single person pods to multi person pods gives you the confidence that they’ve thought through multiple applications for your business
Pods are generally built with great acoustics in mind, however a quick test can’t hurt. Pick one of your favourite songs with varying volume levels on a wireless speaker and shut it inside the pod to test how much of the sound leaks out. If you are happy with your test, move on to the next.
All Pods aren’t created equally. Size, lighting and ventilation can quickly shift from a feeling of privacy to one of anxiety. Ensure that the ventilation is sufficient for periods of 20 - 30 mins in one and the size of a single or dual person pod doesn’t make you feel like you are in an upright coffin. There are no global standards and as such you will need to give them a try.
Environmentally sustainable materials are the future and while you may not directly be pursuing certification for your facility, it does help to look for products that lend themselves to sustainable practices like Low VOC materials (Glues, wood etc) to help promote a safe environment for your team to take their calls or meetings.
Mobility & Disability
Pods are considered an asset like furniture. They are meant to be mobile or at the least moved easily enough. How fast you can either move your POD or disassemble and assemble the product in your new location, will play a role in your second day costs. Most Pods are step-in pods (6 inches higher than your floor level). If you have a person with a disability that needs access with a wheelchair, be sure to choose floor level PODS for easy access.
Having a healthy balance of private and open spaces can truly make the workspace more collaborative and productive. Ideally a 1:4 ratio of privacy to open work
spaces works for most, however you work culture and application may have a different ratio suited to your organization