Acoustic Pods and Privacy Booths

As we have previously highlighted, the long-term impact of the pandemic will require a blend of products needed to make the hybrid work model successful. This includes workplace products that support virtual and in-person collaboration, as well as autonomous activities such as private, echo-free acoustic pods from companies like Framery and JDD that address the need for on-demand privacy, enabling people to seamlessly connect, regardless of physical location.

The great thing about these pods is the range and variety.  For example, did you know that over 80% of office meetings host an average of 4 people?  Not a problem when our huddle pods accommodate 4 – 6 people.

We have been working with our clients to implement acoustic pods that are “connected” to our GoBright cloud-based booking system, so that they can be easily bookable by employees in advance of arriving at the office. Framery pods offers excellent air quality thanks to the air circulation system that is certified to be well within the limits of M1 emission classification. With adjustable seating in smaller pods and enough room to house your own choice of furniture in the larger pods, they are the ultimate room within a room.

EMEA Design & Build Lead Glyn Evans from Cushman & Wakefield has highlighted that “The need for larger meeting rooms has definitely declined as the need for individual phone booths increases. Covid-19 definitely accelerated that trend, and what we are seeing now is that the uncertainty surrounding the future of the office space post-covid means clients are preferring pods over in-situ meeting rooms, to allow for flexibility”.

What is the difference between a Pod and a Booth?

In short, an acoustic pod is a room within a room where someone can go for privacy or “do not disturb” time, while modular phone booths provide a quiet space for telephone and video calls.

Both typically come with sound absorbency, ventilation, a motion sensor to activate the lighting, air con and a range of furniture features that can tailored to your specific requirements.

Acoustics in the office

Aside from the practical nature of meeting booths and acoustic pods for privacy and video conferencing, there is also a very compelling health and safety aspect to their inclusion in the workplace.

Author And TedTalk Alumni Julian Treasure clearly identifies that sound can impact us in 4 key ways – Physiologically, Psychologically, Cognitively and Behaviourally. So why are we telling you this?

Sound disruptions and distractions have an immediate impact on our ability to function from head to toe and in some environments, we have the means to eliminate the noise, in others we have adapted, not necessarily successfully or maybe it is more honest to state we have learned to put up with it?

Let’s focus on the continuum of sound disruption heard in open plan spaces – the vibrancy of your staff, the silent whirring of air-conditioning and the endless activity of a busy printer and all that is before we make the coffee, answer the phone and partake in the normal day to day activities and chatter of the workplace.

  • Over 50% of people have a hard time concentrating in open-plan offices
  • It takes 20 min to regain your focus after a small distraction
  • You are 15% less productive working in an open-plan office if the right design is not in place
  • Out of the 50 major countries with the highest density of open space offices as compared to their population, Luxembourg, Singapore and Ireland arise as the leaders in this category.

Implementing acoustics

For many years we have been installing furniture that is designed to improve the acoustic rating of a workspace such as the extensive Snowsound range by Caimi and using wonderful products such as acoustic room dividers and wall hangings from companies like Friends of Wilson and Abstracta.

Acoustic solutions can be wall-mounted, ceiling hung, or mobile, depending on the structure of a space. What is of critical importance is their effectiveness,  but they tend to be very aesthetically pleasing and come in a range of finishes to complement the décor of any space.

In a recent interview with the Irish Times, Michelle Leyden, Commercial Director at Bizquip pointed out that “neither acoustic pods and modular phone booths are new per se. What is new is their wide-scale adoption to meet the requirements of social distancing and safe working spaces”

If you want to learn more about the options available to you from our range of meeting booths, acoustic pods and phone booths, our expert interiors team would be delighted to speak to you. Contact us today to discuss your requirements.