One of my recent LinkedIn posts was about a Fast Company article about “Remaking Offices” to foster creativity – one of it’s main conclusions was that today’s open offices frequently encourage collaboration, but they don’t give people the privacy everyone sometimes needs to reflect, focus and think creatively.
Here’s where the phone booth comes in . . . we’ve found that including some small private spaces in big open offices where employees can periodically go to escape the distractions and interruptions can help people be more productive, not to mention providing someplace to take a private phone call (i.e. your doctor's calling about test results).
The office pictured above features a “phone booth” that we designed which allows employees, as well as visiting clients, to have a quiet place to go to make a personal phone call or work on something without being disturbed. We typically encourage clients to consider including a variety of spaces (small group spaces / “war rooms”, restaurant type booths on perimeter of open spaces, coffee bar / café, etc.) in the design of their office to afford people some degree of privacy or to encourage interaction away from the distractions of the “open office”.
I’m also a fan of bringing back phone booths to public places like restaurants or coffee shops. It seems like everybody’s connected to their devices 24/7 and nothing is more irritating than having to hear one end of multiple conversations by people who feel the need to raise their voices while talking on the phone.
Do you have a problem with acoustical privacy where you work? Do you sometimes feel like "it's so loud I can't hear myself think!"
SMarchitecture / Austin
a blog about smart design + architecture + interiors