If you haven't heard of office pods yet, it's time you familiarized yourself with the term; they are all the rage. Here's our take on what office pods are, who they're for and how to set them up.
Pods are almost entirely self-contained spaces that give the solitary worker a private area to concentrate, away from the office's distractions and noises. Essentially, they're a "room within a room" - many of them can even be moved around.
A lot of the time, they look like advanced phone booths with all four walls (often glass), a ceiling, seating for a single person, and the necessary gear to get work done. They provide a quiet, private area for all kinds of workers, no matter the department. It sounds like a simple setup, but we'll get back to what's in them a little later.
An ever-growing number of companies are literally tearing down walls in favor of open office plans, as well as sharing their workspaces with other companies.
While the open office plan breeds socialization and collaboration, it's not the best environment for introverts, noise-sensitive people, those who spend a lot of their work hours on the phone, or those who are looking for a secluded, private area to focus.
Where do you go to get "in the zone"? The solution to that could very well be budget-friendly pods. And why is that? Well, a sound-resistant, distraction-free area is a bonus in all open floor plans where secluded areas are few and far between. A pod can be used as space for:
ㆍMaking private calls
Office pods are for solo productivity and concentrated work. They should be used by many types of employees, so, much like with huddle rooms, keep the decorative efforts to a minimum and let the pod's purpose shine instead.
Office pods can come in many sizes, some only fit to hold one standing worker, while others fit two people. We think you'll get the most out of a medium-sized pod for just one worker to sit or stand while they focus on their tasks.
Find a pod that's outfitted with a desk, chair, and at least one glass door. Get an office pod with wheels. Your workspace is sure to change over time, and you don't want to discard the pod just because you moved around the rest. Think of the pod as part of the furniture, use it as a divider or even a decorative element (seriously, some of them look very elegant).
Office pods should be easy to occupy, but seeing as they'll be popular among all types of workers, there should be an option to book them on a company's shared calendar instead of on a first come, first served basis. Make sure there's a display outside the pod so that people can see when/if the pod is booked next.
Motion-activated ventilation system and a skylight sound impressive, but it's okay if you go for a less fancy option. Just make sure there are numerous electrical outlets, natural lighting, and an ergonomic setup for laptops. Additional displays to connect to probably won't be necessary either.
The great news is that office pods come fully equipped when you buy them from the manufacturer, so all you have to worry about is assembling them in a jiffy and then reaping the benefits.
Do you have a problem with people occupying the conference rooms just to take a phone call? No private areas to go? Working in an open office plan? Then office pods could be for you.
If you already have areas focused on privacy, then maybe you don't need the pods in your office.
While the open office plan is great for transparency and inclusion, it's also a more distracted way of working because every conversation and decision is public.
It comes down to productivity versus socializing, and in our opinion, you need both things to lead a successful business. Your work area should be flexible enough to accommodate both things as well as the different types of employees you're likely to encounter; both introverts and extroverts.