What goes around comes around. From fashion to food trends to office design, much of what is new today is really just a modified version of what was common in the past. Did you know, for instance, that after decades of office redesigning their office space into open concept areas, there is now a need for quiet work spaces? In fact, there are many offices that are in the process of installing soundproof booths, much resembling the old phone booths of the past.
These soundproof booth spaces are in direct response to workers who need to have quiet locations for phone calls with current and potential clients. And while there was a time when many workers had their own private offices, today’s workplace environments are no longer designed that way. With collaborative work spaces being the latest trend, there are many companies that now provide employee lockers to hold personal items and common office equipment stations as the majority of workers are not even assigned a specific office space. In an effort to allow for fluidity, the latest open concept offices provide banks of computers that can be logged into by any employee and roof top outdoor work stations where employees can get fresh air.
What is missing, however, are the quiet spaces that are needed for private conversations, whether those are taking place in person or over the phone.
Knowing How to Sound Proof an Office Room Is a Great Skill
Although the open office concept is still a great collaborative and managerial approach to much of the work that gets done in today’s offices, the reality is that many businesses find that they also need to provide phone booth office spaces. Literally provided with an In Use sign that is illuminated when the soundproof phone booth is in use, adding one office phone booth or a bank of two or three is becoming increasingly common. Interestingly enough, many of these soundproof office booths no longer need a phone. With their own cell phone to use for communication, many employees are merely looking for a sound proof space to make and receive their calls.
Often presented as the old fashioned standing design of the past, these shared spaces do not invite someone to come in and sit down for a long while, but only to use the space for the length of a phone call.
The latest research indicates that soundproofing an office, even a small one, can eliminate 51% of conversational distractions. This means that a phone call can often be more efficient and productive if it takes place in a soundproof booth. Just a decade ago, most offices were about 70% open office and 30% other spaces, like lounge and meeting areas and kitchens, but that ratio now is about fifty-fifty. When you get the feeling like everything old is new again you begin to realize that not everything that is new is always the best. Often, it is a combination of both old and new ideas that will create the most productive and efficient work spaces.