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The Power Of Office Pods

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Rap Interiors

In the most recent Business Bunker episode our very own Design Director, Julie Anderson and Senior Designer, Scott Howard were live on air on the topic of office pod solutions.

But what are pods? How do they benefit the office? And what are their uses?

In order to explain what pods are you have to look into the history of them.

A Brief History of Pods

It all began in the early 20th century, where open plan offices were rarely heard of and seen as a novelty. Some architects and designers such as Frank Lloyd Wright despised walls and doors due to their lack of flexibility and spaciousness. This hatred sparked an idea, which was introduced by a German design group named Quickborner in the 1950s. They created the ‘bürolandschaft’ (which is German for ‘office landscape’).

Their design consisted of undivided spaces in which the environment was controlled mechanically through an open plan, with only a small amount of partitions and plantation to allow at least some privacy. The ceilings also utilised absorbing panels in order to decrease the onslaught of busy office noise.

The design was based on a scientific model of human relations, in which all of the team was encouraged to sit on a single open floor. Their theory was that working in a way that didn’t promote hierarchy would increase flexibility and communication between staff.

American furniture company, Herman Miller then adopted these ideas in order to create their own ‘Action office System’ which tried to improve upon the original formula. It offered larger desking surfaces and varied heights which allowed offices to customise their office workspace to a larger extent. It was a failure to Herman Miller’s Designer,Robert Propst, who described his creation as ‘monolithic insanity’.

We still use his idea of the pod today, although now it incorporates the humanity that the designer wanted all along. Instead of the standard tightly knit pods of an older time that caused claustrophobic employees, pods have been incorporated with the idea of the open plan. Modern day offices often include some department separation, but are often only separated by a glass partition.

Pods Today

Fast forward to the modern day and pods now often include funky designs with a variety of sizes creating versatility for any need, something that might not have been foreseen before. What Robert Propst considered a failure created a great success, as the modern day office is nowhere near as claustrophobic and intimidating as it once was. There is a comfortable balance which sits well with businesses, creating a less stressful and daunting environment.

How are they different today exactly?

Well before pods were hardly considered flexible, but were a nice induction nonetheless. Now offices don’t need the space they originally did, as pods now come in a variety of sizes for all offices. They can separate a corner of an office or even take up an entire section of the office; the possibilities are endless. In fact they vary so much that they can even be incorporated into the residential side as part of a funky home office design.

They’re also made from a variety of materials such as wood, metal and even glass, in which employers can mix and match between for optimal customisation. This also opens up opportunity for a variety of uses because of this.

What Would You Need a Pod For?

There is often lots of ruckus and noise in the workspace, meaning that some employees are unable to concentrate with onslaughts of vocal co-workers. This can result in unproductive employees due to the lack of concentration.

Luckily the solution is relatively simple: acoustic pods. These pods support noise occlusion, meaning that sound is reduced and productivity is made high for those that wish to work in a quieter environment. They’ve also developed into acoustic meeting pods, which surround the desking and seating area for private meetings that may discuss sensitive topics. Acoustic pods can also be used for schools, whether it be for private staff meetings or even discussions with students and/or parents.

Acoustic pods can also be for outside use, as seen in our latest ‘Office Pod Solutions’ brochure downloadThe idea of using them for the outside seems to benefit employees greatly, as exposure to the outside gives off a sense of freedom and space to people in their workspace.

Pods are perfect in cases of office relocation and dilapidations, as not only do they minimalize the hassle of moving office partitions and flooring about but also decreases the risk of damage costs in the office. Due to their versatility they can be moved with incredible ease during these times.

Pods can also be made of environmentally friendly materials that promote healthy natural surroundings. These are called eco pods and they can be to blend into the surroundings of a garden or just as a natural aesthetic design choice. This garden pod design is great for an incorporation into the home office design, as it offers a homely garden feel.

On top of this the eco pod can be used as a summer house or holiday area, which is perfect as the wooden finish can resemble a cabin of sorts.

Multimedia screens act very much like pods and are greatly beneficial for presentations during a productive meeting. This is where the desking and seating is surrounded by a screen with multimedia properties (Such as a monitor or television) as a centrepiece. This allows meetings to utilise a visual representation of what is being discussed to its potential, and curved seating within the screen allows everyone in the meeting to feel included.

There are some crazy and funky types of pods, like the friendly pods at BBC North, however these are the most common uses.

Here at Rap we take great pride in the funky acoustic pods and screen solutions we offer: workstation booths, multimedia screens, glass screens, mobile screens, magnetic screens and much more.

If you want to find out more about funky acoustic office pods, contact us today on 0333 600 1234