Soundproof Booths Now Complementing the Open Plan Office Space
If you’ve ever worked in an open plan office space, it can be quite fun. It’s sort of like recess when you’re a kid, but for white collar workers. Different groups of colleagues or workplace cliques have never been more accessible. It’s easy to mingle, get to know your team and make new friends. You can even trade stories about your weekend and conveniently make plans for lunch. (Ideally, you’ll share updates on important projects and progress quickly on group tasks.)
While all of this makes office life seem more fun, it probably doesn’t sound so appealing to managers and business owners – the one’s who reap the downsides of these sort of working conditions.
It turns out that the added collaboration, communication and socializing of open plan offices came with so many cons, companies are scrambling for a solution. Studies and surveys of workers in open offices have revealed all of the following:
- Workers in open offices take up to 62% more sicks days (yikes)
- 58% of high-performance employees say they need more quiet at work
- 54% of high-performance employees find their workplace too distracting
- 25-30% of open office employees are dissatisfied with the level of workplace noise
With those stats on record, it’s hard to argue that the open office environment needs a change. Not only that, but just 10% of workers thought ease of interacting with their colleagues was actually problem – which means companies invested or paid to reshape the design of their workplace for no other reason than it was trendy.
As for 62% more sick days – this could be from desperate employees needing to use their home or apartment as the workspace for a day just to get back on track, or it could be from viruses spreading like wildfire given there are no office enclosures.
Finding a better way to work is an urgent issue. The Humboldt University in Berlin found that it can take up to 23 minutes to regain focus after an interruption. Imagine how many times this occurs in an office with no partitions, people constantly on their phone or socializing. Hours of productivity can be lost. Studies also have shown that even when a worker chooses not to use it, just the option of having a quiet space they can retreat to drastically lowers stress levels.
Fortunately, a new solution is emerging which allows businesses to keep the benefits of open offices and eliminate the cons. And best of all, they don’t have to break their lease, restructure their entire office floors or pay to add dozens of partitions.
Manufacturers have come up with soundproof booths that fit right in with any office space. Rather than connecting these booths to walls or floors, they’re completely portable, allowing managers to adjust their office layout as needed and continue using the booths as a quiet workspace.
High quality office booths come with electrical outlets, USB ports and extension cords up to 15 feet. They even have motion sensor fans that cycle the entire air within the booth in just 2 minutes. Most importantly, they can block 40 decibels of noise with the use of denim insulation.
For companies that are used to seeing one person take an entire conference room, there are now booths that can hold up to 4 people, making it the perfect makeshift meeting location. And if businesses are tired of watching their workers leave the office entirely just to take a call, the singular booths are a convenient solution.
If you want your high performance employees to stick around, or you feel your office can be more productive, soundproof booths are the new wave in office design ideas. Unlike past changes to our workspace, these won’t have any unintended consequences.