Why You May Not Want to Build Your Own Office Phone Booth
A helpful article that may save your company a ton of time and money. 3.3K Views
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For years we’ve been told that the open-plan office format is the best way to go. It encourages collaboration and discussion, makes management more accessible, and helps to form productive teams.
But studies now show there’s a huge downside to an open-plan office. The constant noise and lack of privacy is something that many workers can’t get away from. Your office needs a quiet space – and here’s a full breakdown of why it’s a huge concern that you need to address as soon as possible.
Noise causes constant stress
Scientific research has discovered that constant noise plays a large part in raising stress levels. Anyone who has ever stayed near a construction site for any period of time can attest that loud and continuous noise outside of your control is maddening.
When sitting in an office, the effect of noise might not initially be as obvious. In fact, many people don’t really think about it at all. But it’s there, and it does have a psychological effect.
There are lots of noises in the average office: people talking on the phone or to each other, phones ringing, printers and fax machines working, beeping and pinging sounds from computers, coughs, sneezes, and so on. Some offices may even have music playing.
These noises can cause a buildup of stress over time. The human brain was wired for survival, so we’re trained to pay attention to any noises around us. Our subconscious remains alert, which can cause us to feel exhausted much more frequently than normal.
All of this stress can have serious consequences for office workers. Stress can affect both mental and physical health, leading to viruses, breakdowns, anxiety, and physical aches and pains. This is very bad news both for them and their managers as workers are likely to take sick days and be less productive.
In fact, statistics suggest that open-plan office workers are 50% more likely to take sick days than those who work in private offices.
The possibility of ducking into a quiet room when needed is invaluable for those who work in a noisy environment. It gives them a chance to reset, relax, and let the stress go for a moment.
Business phone calls require attention
When talking on the phone, it’s not always easy to hear people on the other line. That difficulty is increased greatly when there is a lot of background noise from your office.
Worse still, staff members may struggle to keep the conversation on track and meet the requirements of clients because they fail to understand what’s being said. This is an embarrassing situation for any business.
Office phone booth pods are a new way to get more out of your office space. With a pod placed in your office, you and your employees will be able to enjoy a wide range of benefits, which we’ve detailed below.
Taking Calls More Easily
Let’s get this one out of the way first since it’s the advantage that you probably expected the most. Having an office phone booth or pod means you can take calls in a quiet area, without the noisy coworkers interfering.
This is fantastic for private phone conversations, especially for calls regarding a project which is governed by a non-disclosure agreement.
This may also give confidence to members of your team who try to get the best deals from clients and suppliers. Building a sense of rapport is hugely important in sales, but they may feel under pressure to keep chat to a minimum while working in an open-plan office space with people nearby. A more comfortable environment could lead to the type of conversation that the customer needs to finally make that huge order.
When making phone calls, it can often be difficult to concentrate when others are talking nearby. Hearing two voices, or more, at once can be disorientating and may cause employees to lose track of what’s being discussed.
For video conferencing and conference calls, this can be even more difficult. A private phone booth allows calls and videos to be put on speaker, without disturbing others. It also ensures a more professional environment, which is important to those on the other end of the line.
Office Phone Booth Pods Provide Mental Health Benefits
You might be surprised to learn that your open-plan office space may actually be harming the mental health of your employees. Several studies have documented the ill effects of this layout, and the availability of a soundproof booth can alleviate many of them.
Lack of privacy, constant noise levels, and not having any control over where you work: these are all big issues that cause stress in your employees.
Having a soundproof office pod available means that your employees can find privacy whenever they need it. It has been proven that employees work harder when they feel that they are working in privacy. Removing that distraction allows workers to get on with the task at hand.
To enable this benefit, a physical barrier is just as important as the soundproofing aspect. If one or the other is missing, the employee simply won’t feel as focused or secure.
The distraction of constant noise is also something that grinds away at our subconscious even when we are not aware of it. It can cause stress levels to rise astronomically, inducing emotions like anger and depression as a result.
On top of all of this, workers can start to feel helpless if they do not have the option to change their environment. They feel trapped even in an open-plan space, with no way to take control and gain privacy or quiet when they need it.
This stress is alleviated when they have the option to go into a private booth as needed.
We know that high levels of stress are very bad for a person’s health, meaning there’s more time off from work for being sick. Employees will also be less productive, which means projects missing deadlines and resources not being used to full capacity. This will fuel lower job satisfaction, meaning a higher turnover and even loss of your top talent.
The soundproof booth acts as a buffer against all of this stress and can help to reduce stress’ negative effects. Your staff will be more productive, happier to stay at their jobs, and healthier overall. Any manager or company owner would be thrilled to see these benefits.
How Office Pods Improve Physical Health
We know that that stress levels can directly impact mental health, but you should also be aware that isolation booths can offer more physical health benefits compared to open-plan only offices as well.
Research has found that employees are 50% more likely to take time off with illness when they work in an open-plan office. The reason for this is that the close confines, circulation of air caused by air conditioning, and the contact with other employees causes germs and bacteria to spread more easily.
Should one of your staff members come down with the flu or infection, it’s likely that others will catch the virus from them as well. A soundproof booth provides a way to separate your employees and keep bouts of illness to a minimum.
We're often asked at Zenbooth why our soundproof office booths are so great. So, we thought we'd put together an article explaining their top 7 benefits so you can learn for yourself why we, and our customers, love our booths so much!
1. Our Soundproof Booths Are Proven to Increase Productivity
Studies show that most employees work better in a quiet work environment. Unfortunately, today’s open-plan offices aren't always conducive to this.
Open-plan workspaces were initially designed to foster effective communication amongst employees. It was thought that this would help increase overall productivity.
However, research now shows that open-plan offices haven't achieved this goal. In reality, productivity and critical telephone conversations can suffer due to noise and other commonplace office distractions.
Our booths provide a practical and inexpensive solution to this issue because they offer a quiet work space for employees. Not only does the quiet help improve focus among workers, it also promotes positive well-being.
Reliable sources, such as the New Yorker, agree with this notion, saying, “Psychologically, the repercussions of open offices are relatively straightforward. Physical barriers have been closely linked to psychological privacy, and a sense of privacy boosts job performance. Open offices also remove an element of control, which can lead to feelings of helplessness.”
2. Our Pre-Made Soundproof Office Booths Are More Cost-Effective Than Building Your Own
Shockingly, the estimated cost of a self-built booth is $10,000!
Our pre-made booths, on the other hand, start at $4,999- which is half the expense!
People often underestimate the complexity of creating an office booth. It's not just a few walls and a door! You have to take all the necessary precautions to ensure the booth is regulation compliant. For starters, you need to think about material safety.
There are several kinds of wood that contain urea-formaldehyde based glues. Unfortunately, these formaldehyde gases can be carcinogenic. When these gases are let off, they frequently get trapped in the booth and consequently, increase the risk of cancer.
Furthermore, if you are making your own booth, you need to consult an architectural engineer, which can be costly. It's imperative that a booth has structural integrity. If a booth were to collapse due to faulty design, you could severely injure one or multiple employees. Luckily for you, our booths are created by leaders in the industry. So, we can confidently guarantee the safety of your workers.
Furthermore, if you're considering constructing a booth, you need to factor in labor costs, equipment costs and the expense of material. It takes approximately 100 hours to craft a functional phone booth from scratch.
If you are paying a laborer to construct your booth for you, this will cost anywhere between 30-75 dollars per hour. If you are paying anything cheaper than this, you run the risk of the labor not being adequately insured. This could increase the chances of you getting into legal trouble and their being an injury.
Finally, you’ll need to purchase a plethora of tools and materials from a hardware store. The cost of tools alone will come to a minimum of $1,000! Plus, the materials will cost anywhere between $300-500. This sum is unsurprising when you realize there are over 50 parts needed to form a soundproof booth from scratch!
3. A Guaranteed Quiet and Private Working Environment
With our booths we aim to create a quiet workspace for your employees. We achieve this by combining a variety of acoustic materials. These all have varying weights and densities fitted into the walls of the booth. This helps ensure that noise created from the inside can be thoroughly absorbed.
Furthermore, we insulate our booths with R-13 insulation. This provides unique thermal and sound control. Our clever engineering allows us to confidently say that your employees will be able to work free from disturbance.
Not only have we solved issues concerning noise within the office, but our booths also provide the convenience of a private workstation. Modern open-plan offices struggle to provide workers with any degree of privacy. This is often an issue when workers are conducting essential phone calls with customers or clients. Lack of privacy can also be a problem if you need to discuss issues that wouldn't be appropriate for the whole office to hear.
It's all too common for time to be wasted by workers seeking a quiet place to have an important and professional telephone conversation. Employees shouldn't have to take to hallways or to search for a quiet spot outside the office to communicate with customers! These 'solutions' are fraught with problems. Namely, from unwanted noise from those who don't realize you're on the phone!
Our soundproof booths have provided a genuine solution to this problem...you can thank us later!