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Has your environment ever been so noisy that you weren’t able to concentrate? For instance, you make a private phone call to discuss an important matter, and suddenly the space around you erupts in a cacophony that makes you want to scream; we have all been there both at home and at the office.  While it may be a bit easier to choose your “soundless” venue around the house, it is much more challenging to do so at the office, especially if it is not a quiet space such as a closed-off conference room.  Excessive noise hurts all of us.  It ruins our concentration, puts us on edge, and destroys morale and productivity.  It’s for this reason that noise reduction should be a top priority for any office. Introducing Office Phone Booths, also known as pods or office pods

Noisy and distracting offices are unproductive

Though it might not be the first thing on your radar, paying attention to the negative impacts of sound could be just the thing you need to create a happy, healthy, and productive office.  An article in the online small business magazine,Chron, states that “excessive or continual sounds can affect the physical and mental health of employees. Whether the noise is coming from office machines, chattering co-workers or construction, the effects can lead to an increase in disturbing emotions and a reduction in productivity. Although not all workspace noise can be avoided, sounds throughout an open office should be monitored regularly to ensure that employees can function properly.”… hence the benefits of Office Phone Booths.

Moreover, it’s not just emotional and physical health at stake if you are running a startup, you’re dealing with proprietary information that’s at the core of your intellectual property; a private space is an absolute must. With intellectual property concerns being a stark reality these days, conversations that are intentionally or unintentionally overheard can result in significant legal and financial consequences. When buying startup office furniture also consider office phone booth rooms or pods.

Workspace location and noise sources

We live in a frenetic and energized world so of course there is going to be noise, and lots of it.  The first step in addressing potential noise issues is the environment surrounding your office environment; we are talking about location, location, location.  Do you work in a modern shared open office, or is your open office or private space located near noise sources such as freeways or busy roads?  Alternatively, are you just beginning a search for your new office venue?  Wherever you are currently at, some considerations regarding sound may save your sanity and your business.

First off, if you are looking for an office, then you have the advantage of proactivity.   Whether your new digs are to be in a shared open space office, or you are looking to establish your first “official” place of business, it is vital that you note any sound issues in the immediate surrounding environment.  Even if the office is shared or near a constant sound source, take some time and walk around and get a feel for the neighborhood; and grab some co-workers to do this with you.  Sit inside and listen to the local sounds.  Now imagine this being your office with all of its attendant sounds. Would this habitation cause any problems?   By taking some time doing reconnaissance, you can potentially save your company much money and your staff many headaches.

Things are a bit different if you are contracted to a work environment for the near term.  If it is quiet enough and adequately designed by an office designer, which can be rented from places such as WeWork, then you either lucked out or you paid upfront; either way, you are in a functional space, and that’s important. If this isn’t exactly the case, then don’t lose hope as there are many steps you can take to improve the quality of your environment about excessive noise.

On a side note, WeWork also offers booths inside their shared workspaces for tenants, which were pulled for formaldehyde testing, as reported by Business Insider, but this just shows that the WeWork is serious about offering safe offices to their tenants. WeWork is still known for offering quiet workspaces to tenants, as their goal is to offer productive workspaces. Feel free to reach out to a WeWork representative about their booths and the levels of formaldehyde, or inquire about a space that could be made soundproof by an interior designer.

Mitigating noise and suppressing sound are inexpensive and effective

The first and obvious solution is to experiment with acoustic dampening products in your open space office, of which there are plenty on the market. We’ll get to those in a moment because you may be ready to push the button on the centrally located option for office sound suppression: the modular pod or phone booth style of office within an office.  The advantage offered by a pod or phone booth is that no testing is needed, you buy the pod for what it is; a soundproofed space in which you or your staff can think and communicate free of distractions.  Zenbooth makes products like office pods or phone booths that are diligently researched and assessed, easy to install, and comes with a money-back guarantee. SnapCab Pod is another company that offers tenants a quiet space in the form of a phone booth. Both Zenbooth and SnapCab Pod offer spaces that are big enough to use as a mini-conference room. Remember, there are still WeWork spaces that have not needed booths pulled for formaldehyde testing, or the booths may have been replaced with safer models, creating another option for quiet workspaces.

However, say the phone booth or pod is not viable for your predicament, as you may not be able to rent from Zenbooth, SnapCab Pod or WeWork, where can you turn?  Well, for starters, it does not have to be expensive and, even better, it doesn’t have to be an eyesore.  If you put your imagination to work or take the help of an office designer, you will find all sorts of ideas for suppressing sound except office phone booths and pods. You may also be able to find examples of soundproof or quiet rooms from sources such as Business Insider. That is, as long as you make sound reduction and not sound elimination your target.

Think, for instance, of plants. Plants don’t simply beautify the space they inhabit; they bring life and sound dampening properties to if as well.  Think of how a forest trail feels or a beautiful park – all the plant life invigorates with fresh air and contributes to an excellent sense of solitude with quietness.  Living plants (please, avoid plastics at all costs) can be the first line of defense in your fight for sound reduction.

Office Phone Booth

Also, you can employ the use of carpets or area rugs around your Office Phone Booth pods as they help absorb some of the more persistent irritating sounds.  You may also toy with re-configuring the height of cubicle walls, deploying sound-absorbing carpet, or even employing artwork on the walls in your commercial interior design that will serve the dual purpose of beautifying the environment and helping to absorb excess noise.

Regardless of the path, from a Zenbooth pod to WeWork office to tips from Business Insider, you choose to take, noise control for your open office is a challenging proposition.  Done correctly and combined with a nice commercial interior design and possible pod, however, you and your staff will enjoy the benefits of a less stressful work environment, a more comfortable work environment, and a much more productive work environment.  So, start with the small steps and enlist the help of the staff, after all, everyone is in this together and solving the problem together is a great team-building exercise in which everyone will enjoy participating.

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