Pod People

The furniture world has been working on all manner of cocoons to provide visual and acoustic privacy in the open office environment for several years now. There are some novel designs and I can readily see their utility for providing a quick spot to take a call or, with the larger booths, a fun focused place to conduct a quick meeting.

But I have this other very visceral reaction to pod-type work spaces. In grad school, the central library had a room where way way back in the stacks was a row of study booths. They had a wooden screen on the window side and a glass door facing the room. They were lovely and I would dutifully file into my spot with a stack of books, highlighter and pen at the ready. If I ever made it more than 15 minutes before passing out completely I’d be surprised. Same thing with study carrels.

A couple of years ago I sat down in one furniture manufacturer’s workstation pod concept and admitted I would pass out immediately in that set up. It has since gone on to be a very successful design for them. But maybe the fact that I would have passed out is not such a bad thing. A quick power nap at work is much better than pushing through a whole afternoon in a haze, no?

Do you have any work booths or pods in your facilities? Have you installed any with wellness in mind, such as to allow for quick naps or as lactation spots, for instance? Have you run into any issues with people subverting your original intention?

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