Since the 2020 pandemic, workplace flexibility and hybrid workspaces have become hot topics in the business world. For global leaders, the ability to allow employees to work from home came as a well-needed relief from the drastic circumstances that the world was going through. However, two years on, PwC research shows that 45% of the workforce cannot work remotely effectively.
No matter what happens over the next decade, in-office work isn’t going anywhere. Office culture has become an institution, defining how entire cities are built and modern transport infrastructure is utilized. But, if we’re going to keep employees coming to the office, businesses should do everything in their power to create effective workplaces.
In this article, we’ll turn to one of the leading methods of increasing productivity and decreasing distraction in the workplace: office phone booths. We’ll cover the main Dos and Don’t of office phone booths, demonstrating exactly how workers should use them throughout their work schedule.
Let’s dive right in.
Do: Use office phone booths for focus and uninterrupted work.
It’s no secret that employees don’t actually get a whole lot done when they’re at their desks. From checking the news to scrolling through social media or even having a little chat with coworkers, there are a lot of distractions. Research by Zippa suggests that out of every eight-hour workday, 5 hours and 7 minutes are unproductive time.
Office phone booths can be a phenomenal way of changing the tides of office productivity. By designating time in office pods for employees, you’ll be able to give workers a block of time for deep work. Not only will time in the office pod be free of distractions like chatting with coworkers, but it will also help employees focus more deeply on their work.
Using office phone booths for focus and uninterrupted work is one of the most effective use cases and one that your employees will thank you for.
Do: Establish guidelines to ensure equal access for all employees.
Before you let your employees go free reign on your new batch of office phone booths, you should endeavor to create some ground rules. Of course, all office staff should be respectful of these private spaces, leaving them clean and tidy for the next person.
However, going beyond this, you should outline some time expectations. While some companies have an online booking system for their office pods, this can be unproductive as it creates more pressure on their usage. Office phone booths should be accessible when someone needs to get deep work done, not for someone that enjoys booking ahead of time.
Outline how much time an employee can spend in an office pod at once. These ground rules will reduce the likelihood of certain workers monopolizing the pods and having more than their fair share of time.
Do: Integrate office phone booths into your workplace culture
Poor working environments are one of the leading causes of stress at work, according to the WHO. Office phone booths act as a direct solution to this, providing an additional, high-quality workspace that anyone can go into when they need it.
Yet, offices definitely take a little getting used to. If your employees haven’t used pods before, they might not understand how or if they need to book to use them. When your office pods arrive, we suggest that you disseminate information about them. Fliers that explain how to use them, the benefits of deep work, and expectations about time limits are always a good place to start.
Don’t: Reserve office phone booths only for managers
Multi-person office phone booths are a fantastic resource for managers that want to have a 1:1 with an employee. The private space is great for short conversations and can become a hot spot for morning drop-ins. However, managers need to understand that these pods are not extensions of their offices.
In your business, if you notice that managers are taking up a lot of time in the pods, question their motives for doing so. Office pods should be a supportive workplace infrastructure, available for deep work on the fly. If you have certain employees spending lots of time in them or kicking other employees out to occupy them, you have a problem on your hands.
Your rules and structures in place for each office phone booth should extend to include your managers too. Especially considering 84% of workers state that bad managers cause stress in the office, this is something you should manage as early as possible.
Don’t: Disrupt employees when working in office phone booths
98% of office workers claim that they’re distracted at work at least three times a day. Small distractions are one of the leading causes of a lack of office productivity, as it can take nearly 30 minutes to recover from one.
In order to help your office workers get the most out of your office pods, you should establish a rule about interrupting people in a pod. If people know that they’re in a private space where they can settle into work, they’re more likely to slip into a flow state and get more done.
Office phone booths should be an escape from distractions – make sure your office rules enforce that idea.
Office phone booths are a phenomenal piece of workplace infrastructure. With the ability to boost productivity, remove and neutralize distractions, and construct an efficient working environment, every office should employ at least a handful of pods.
However, especially when office pods are new in a workplace, companies often use them for the wrong reasons. By following the Dos and Don’t we’ve outlined in this article, your office will be able to hit the ground running once it gets its first office phone booth. By sticking to the Dos, you’ll create an empowered workplace culture that enjoys coming to the office and thrives on deep work.
Best of luck integrating office phone booths into your workspaces!