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How Modular Phone Booths Create More Meaningful Interactions in the Office

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Modular phone booths are designed to create meaningful interactions in the modern office. Office designs are continuously being reinvented to adapt to the needs of today’s society. If it were a hundred years ago, employees would have been crammed into a room, shoulder to shoulder with their colleagues. This would have made it easier for managers to supervise their staff, but would have been terrible for employees’ morale. By the 1960s, offices evolved into a cubicle layout. Employees were given their own areas to work. While, this gave them more privacy, the advantage of cubicle offices became its very disadvantage, as the cubicles meant that employees could interact less with each other. 

As the traditional office cubicle has been questioned for its effectiveness, offices started to brainstorm how to better cater to employees’ needs, realising the need to boost employees’ satisfaction for increased productivity. Adding on to that, the pandemic has forced offices to rethink about the office space as employees had to opt for flexible work arrangements. 

 “Company leaders are in the midst of reimagining their use of physical office spaces and digital infrastructures in ways that will allow them to satisfy employee preferences and compete for top talent,” says Eric Anicich, Assistant Professor of Management and Organisation at the University of Southern California. 

The key elements of an inclusive and effective workplace are connection, engagement and collaboration to encourage employees to exchange perspectives and ideas, which “improve decision-making and creativity”, said Anicich.

To encourage inclusivity, modular phone booths and work pods in the office are increasingly popular. While open-plan office designs are the common strategy to facilitate inclusion, a 2018 study at a Fortune 500 company found that 72 percent of employees spent less time interacting after offices shifted from an enclosed space to an open-plan office setting. This is because employees tended to struggle with distractions in the office and hence communicate less with one another. Modular phone booths are a more feasible option because they balance the employees’ needs for privacy while encouraging interaction among colleagues. Essentially, private pods or work pods balance out the pros and cons of an open-plan office workplace and the office cubicles.

Modular Phone Booths for a More Interactive Workplace

Companies can show that they value employees for who they are, more than just their work alone, by changing up workspaces while putting employees’ needs as the priority. Especially for the younger generation, shared facilities in the workplace are particular attractive because they tend to be more spontaneous in the way they use their time. As such, office pods can allow employees to feel a sense of community, being given the access to facilities that they need to work and to have discussions. 

Furthermore, private pods allow employees to have meetings with other colleagues, clients, or to take phone calls without having to book an entire meeting room. According to Pontus Kihlman, executive consultant at Rapal Oy which is a workplace solutions provider in Finland, “Oversized meeting spaces tend to be underutilised to a high degree, creating a lot of wasted space that could be used more smartly, while there aren’t enough small meeting rooms or multi-use spaces. Meeting rooms are filled only to a fifth of capacity after an analysis of 12,600 meeting rooms across 1,800 offices. In place of these clunky spaces, small, stylish meeting pods are becoming the latest must-have.”

Nowadays, we see offices creating agile workspaces, which is a concept where quiet zones are designated for colleagues to work together. While this is a vast improvement from the open office plan, the issue is that it lacks privacy, which would be crucial if sensitive issues need to be discussed. This is where modular phone booths come in useful, because they allow colleagues to gather in a private space without disturbances from the surroundings. In a scenario where employees from one department will need to gather employees from other departments to discuss about a project, they can huddle in the private pods quickly for a conducive meeting. 

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On the other hand, cubicle-style offices can benefit from work pods or modular phone booths for quiet discussions without any distraction from the surroundings, or causing others to be distracted. Especially because of the pandemic, employees may find themselves meeting clients online more so than before. Rather than having a meeting in their own cubicle where others can listen in, or having to be distracted by movements and noise from the office, the modular office pods allow employees to have a private space for their online meetings without having to compete with the surrounding noise. 

All in all, modular office pods are a useful addition to any office to create more meaningful interactions, which could in turn boost employees’ productivity.

Contact us here at InstaPods if you have any enquiries, and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.