How to Stay Focused in an Open Office

Whatever our work environment is, we need to stay on task and focused throughout the day. When we allow ourselves to become too distracted, our work suffers. We either neglect things we need to get done or let the quality of our work to slip. Employees face distractions whether they work at home, in a private office or at an office with an open plan

If you work in an office with an open floor plan and are having trouble concentrating at work, we’re here to help!

Working in an Open Plan Office

Working in an open plan office has its own unique benefits. If you’re not familiar with this style of office, employees work together in one big room instead of having their own private office. Employees can have a closed cubicle or even just a desk. However, management usually still has their own private offices.

Open plan offices have become very popular in recent years because they offer advantages over other office setups. With — literally — no walls separating employees, many managers believe that open floor plans promote better communication through increased coordination and collaboration. If you have a question for a coworker, you only have to walk a few desks away or even just ask if they’re sitting right by you. When your coworkers are more accessible, it can make getting your job done a lot easier.

Tips for Working in an Open Office

Even though open plan offices offer unique benefits, it also causes more distractions. Here are some of our best pieces of advice on how to have better focus at work:

  • Plug In: One of the universal signals for “let me be” is wearing headphones or earbuds. When you’re wearing them, most people know to leave you alone unless it is very important. And on top of that, it helps drown out extra noise going on in the office. When there aren’t any walls separating you from your coworkers, you hear everything. That noise can become a problem, and headphones help block it out.
  • Put Up a Sign: If you don’t want to wear headphones or earbuds all day, you can create a different type of sign to let your coworkers know to let you work. You can use an actual “do not disturb” sign or use a different type of signal. If you want to try this out, just be sure to talk to a manager beforehand and then let your coworkers know to leave you alone when the sign is out there.
  • Take Breaks: If you need to force yourself to focus, you need a break. Walking away from your work for a little bit can help a lot more than working all day long. Taking a break will help refresh your brain, and when you start working again, you can get back on track.
  • Create Designated Quiet Areas: If you have a big space, talk to management about creating a part of the office as a quiet space. If someone is working there, it means they do not want to be disturbed and need some time to work alone.

At SnapCab, we’ve developed a solution to enjoying the perks of an open plan office without the problems. Our SnapCab Pod® gives employees a private workspace that is portable, easily assembled and convenient. Learn more about Pods by contacting us today.

The Advantages of Open Office Spaces

Open-floor offices remain the proverbial talk-of-the-town for businesses looking to maximize space and employee morale while minimizing costs and outdated work structures. Even with more than half of employees in an Oxford study citing they enjoy the congeniality and laid-back nature of open-concept office spaces, naysayers point to the subsequent jump in noise distractions as a reason to discredit the design trend’s hype.

Contemporary open-office designs and spaces can have the best of both worlds — friendly, expansive floor plans hacking collaboration and employee moods, but still outfitted with adaptive, private workstations. This open-office hybrid layout maintains productivity and privacy while still lending all the advantages of wide, unrestricted space — strengths that put both employees and their managers at ease. Here are 10 of them.

advantages of open office spaces

1. They’re Inviting

Open floor plan offices prioritize worker collaboration and innovative interactions. Yes, we throw these words around so often with open floor plans that many drown them out — but that doesn’t negate the reality of their inviting impression and its related psychological benefits.

open floor plan

Study after study has found the warm, approachable atmosphere an open-concept office layout curates does boost employee morale. More specifically, it leads employees to feel like they’re part of something larger than themselves, more able to connect the dots between roles and domains and see those roles as holistically supported.

What’s more, open offices improve levels of knowledge sharing, the concept that employees are more freely exchanging subject matter expertise. Better knowledge-sharing flows are associated with more cooperative and high-functioning teams. This, in turn, means well-rounded and informed employees who can make sharper business decisions, all because the open floor plan invites them to do so.

2. They’re Versatile

Open-concept floor plans lend offices much-needed yet often-neglected flexibility. In today’s world of changing work trends, employee expectations and evolving remote-work technologies, a company layout you can tweak and adapt is one that will withstand the test of time.

First, dropping rows of stationary cubicles for simple tables or desks innately makes that space more amenable. Furniture is reconfigurable, and in some cases, you can shift it to a different part of the office depending on in-the-moment needs.

Furthermore, open office spaces allow businesses to implement alternative workstations. Many herald alternative workstations as the future of the business office, where instead of private cubicles and static meeting rooms, offices come furnished with stand-alone booths, multifaced furniture and breakout modular offices — all of which should be mobile.

Some of the best examples of an alternative workstation’s versatility in an open office include our SnapCab® Pods. Pods offer private individual or collaborative work booths employees can access as needed, with different sizes and seating options you can move around as needed.

3. They’re Cost-Effective

Another advantage to open office spaces is their cost competitiveness. For businesses in their early days or those with tied-up equity, finding ways to maximize your current space without sacrificing productivity is vital to maintaining a leaner bottom line.

Cost-effectiveness

The cost-effectiveness introduced to a business with an open floor plan comes in a couple of forms:

  • Construction: Companies constructing a new location or business from the ground up save up-front when they opt for a majority open layout. This is intuitive, as these spaces require fewer walls and internal scaffolding to create the rooms and partitions associated with a traditional office.
  • Rent: Organizations renting their office space can better utilize what they have through an open, unencumbered layout. Not only do open-concept rentals offer a cost-per-square-footage advantage, but they’re also more versatile. You can fill, arrange and rearrange the space as you see fit — as opposed to being forced into static room molds with less functionality but the same price tag.
  • Overhead Costs: Overhead costs like utilities will be reduced in an open concept layout. Heating and cooling come centralized in one overarching system. Other lessened expenses include electricity, since open-concept offices receive more natural light.
  • Office Equipment Expenses: Fewer walls in your office layout mean fewer cubicle partitions, clunky desks and repetitive office appliances to buy up-front and place in individual departments, like copiers and printers. You can centralize equipment in one collaborative area for all to access — this also makes it easier for office managers to oversee these devices.

4. They’re Horizontal — Especially If Upper Management Embraces Them

Private and corner offices reinforce vertical organizational hierarchy. While a company needs a logical chain of command to function, they don’t necessarily need the space to emphasize it.

With open-concept spaces, a company chooses to display a sense of collaboration and worker agency. Regardless of actual seniority, staffers are encouraged to take ownership of their tasks and make empowered decisions without executive micromanagement. Senior managers share the same general space with their team — and their team’s teams — on down the line. If static or removed offices do exist, they’re reserved only for C-level executives whose daily decisions and communications require a tad bit more privacy.

As a middle ground for middle and upper management, SnapCab’s Pod L is large enough that it offers room for up to six. Many have also chosen to fabricate the Pod L into a private office for appointed personnel within an open concept office without losing the spirit and integrity of the floor plan. Plus, with its sound-absorbing acoustic panels and glass front wall and door, noises stay to a minimum but those inside are still visible and accessible to the rest of the team.

5. They’re Contemporary

It’s undeniable that open-concept office floorplans and design layouts have become the defining corporate trend. Like any trend, though, they have their pros and cons. Yet unequivocally, the open office is one that’s stylish, smart and modern.

These office aesthetics are not to be taken lightly. Companies with contemporary, appealing designs and building details are more likely to retain talent, see lower rates of turnover and employ people who report higher levels of worker engagement and satisfaction.

The trick lies in hacking an office’s surroundings and environment to boost the very behaviors you want from workers. Traits like positivity, creativity and efficiency are far likelier with the contemporary design hacks open-concept layouts court:

  • Green or Biophilic Features: Plenty of plants and greenery in an office go a long way to reduce levels of worker stress and anxiety. Other “green” features — such as the use of natural materials throughout a building, like wood and stone, or curved rather than straight lines — further amplify an office’s calming environment.
  • Natural Lighting: Even buildings that don’t have the luxury of expansive, floor-to-ceiling windows can find ways to maximize natural light. Install plenty of reflective, glossy surfaces, clear glass and even mirrors throughout the office to let light permeate as far as possible.
  • Diverse Workstations: A mix of shared, private, public, relaxed and collaborative breakout work areas are the key to balancing employee happiness with productivity.
  • Color Schemes: Colors produce a range of physiological and emotional triggers in humans. We can utilize them throughout the office to help curate beneficial moods and enhance workers’ energy levels.

6. They’re Scalable

Another distinct advantage of open office spaces over traditional ones is their scalability. As your business grows, so does the office, as open-concept layouts provide ample room to accommodate new employees, desks and furniture. All it takes is a little creative reconfiguration — not a total renovation.

In many competitive real estate markets, the costs to relocate or renovate render these choices impossible for most businesses. Whether a business rents or owns doesn’t let them off the hook. Expensive upgrades in a rental contract mean renegotiating the terms and conditions of your lease. On the other hand, even if you own the structure or land where your business is, the list of legal, compliance and code standards to meet is enough to give even determined business owners second thoughts.

None of this is particularly attractive for businesses across industry types, as internal construction projects can risk everything from business service downtimes to higher rates of absenteeism. An office layout scalable from the beginning best mitigates these concerns.

7. They Boost Social Interactions

Introverts and extroverts alike reap health benefits from social interaction — so much so that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has for years recommended offices find ways to boost sociability within the nine-to-five grind.

Now, this doesn’t mean a work culture where everyone hangs out and nothing gets done. But it does disrupt the habitual trap of employees walking into work, burrowing into their cubicles and remaining there until day’s end. Both the physical and mental tolls of this kind of environment have been shown to decrease cardiovascular health and increase feelings of stress, loneliness and workplace withdrawal within employees, while sociability and functional amounts of interpersonal time do the opposite.

Open office spaces can encourage social interactions in strategic places within their layouts. These means dedicated collaborative and social areas balanced with designated quiet workstations, ones that are removed from the hustle and carry sound-reducing technology. This shows employees there’s a time and a place for everything — including interpersonal enjoyment.

8. They Improve Physical and Mental Health

psychological advantages

If this seems too good to be true, think again. Open-concept offices provide keen psychological advantages to most employees that boost their physical and mental well-being — and it does so in some surprising ways:

  • Improved Design Features: To begin, open office spaces tend to include design elements like higher ceilings and larger windows. This means more natural light and more access to appealing window views for workers, which has keen mental benefits such as boosting energy, positivity and decreasing feelings of burnout while at work.
  • More Types of Workstations: Open office spaces allow for broader workstation types and flexibility. This is a critical spatial element that gives workers the autonomy and flexibility to perform their tasks in places most innately productive for them — not relegate them to a static desk day in and day out.
  • Increased Staff Interaction: As mentioned earlier, open-concept offices allow more organic and frequent interactions to occur. The benefits of this cannot be overstated in the office. Research has shown that employees with strong connections and even best friends in the office are less likely to fall ill and more likely to produce consistent, high-quality work.

In total, these elements combine to create a work environment that combats feelings of loneliness and worker solitude. A business that does this is one that sees higher task performance, enhanced creativity and more innovative decision-making — all because the open space prompts it.

9. They’re More Brand-Stimulating

Now, this can quickly go overboard. Open office spaces that haven’t been designed with sound-control features and attention to workstation diversity can be too overly stimulating, with noise distractions, brand logos, colors and saturated workplace density bombarding your personnel.

However, when done right, open offices court visually and aesthetically enhanced floorplans with more opportunities for branded personality. What’s more, you can use them with an eye for marketing. Consider the impact you make on prospective clients or customers when they enter an on-brand, inviting and dynamic corporate space. What kinds of impressions can you curate, and what do they say about the personality, pulse and life of your company? With an open office space, you can tie these visuals together and bring them to the forefront.

10. They Better Showcase Corporate Values

Corporate values are the guiding personality behind a company. They have functional and tactical uses, though most importantly, corporate values should remain relevant for a company across its entire lifecycle — not just fitting its image today or tomorrow, but across the decades. If a company doesn’t see its current mission being important a few years from now, then it hasn’t identified the right purpose.

The advantages of open offices culminate in giving your space the ability to showcase its true self, boldly and openly. It immerses not only your workers in that mission but visitors, customers and prospective employees alike.

Open layout offices more naturally incorporate and let you highlight value-aligned aesthetics. From the minute they step into the office space, open concepts allow things like brand colors, logos, slogans, artwork and other visuals to be seen regardless of vantage point. They also allow your company to proudly display its corporate values — whether literally, writing them on a wall or panels, or imbuing the company’s personality into the style of office furniture, layout and decor. This is inherently harder to display if the office is chopped up and separated by walls and departments.

Overall, the branding potential of open office spaces sharpens your corporate identity and lets form match function. Your office can strike this important note best with an open concept.

SnapCab’s Paneling Systems for Your Hybrid Open Office Solution

Get in touch with Snapcab

Too many businesses still frame open office spaces regarding what must be given up — not what’s gained. Your business or office space doesn’t have to weigh a hefty list of pros and cons with an open concept layout. In fact, it can provide all the benefits above — and more — when you have the right spatial product partner.

SnapCab is here to be just that. Our unique panel products give you best-in-design office solutions, with three sizes of Pod® booth workstations outfitted for privacy, productivity and noise reduction in an open-concept office, as well as a dynamic Portal® multimedia wall to enhance the work that gets done.

We’d love to discuss how SnapCab Pods and Portals can benefit your open-concept office. Get in touch with us today.

What Makes a Good Study Space?

If you’re a student, it’s imperative to have a designated study space to keep you on-task and productive. Whether you’re a student or professional, greater productivity helps make you successful. But, wherever you are, it’s easy to get distracted and off task, too. Whether your friend has a personal emergency, you check a notification on your social media that turns into a half-hour break or you go out for a snack, you may not be giving your work the time and attention that you need to do your best work.

Below we’ll discuss how important it is to find a good place to get work done and to give you some study space ideas.

 

The Importance of a Good Study Area

When you have a task to get done, like studying for a test, writing a research paper or preparing for a big presentation, you need the right place to get the job done and to do it right.

An excellent study area will help you do your best work, while a bad study space will distract you and have a negative impact on your work’s quality.

Every person learns a little differently, so every person strives in different work environments. One person may need lots of light, complete quiet and a particular type of chair to work. Others may be more flexible and can work in many different environments.

Finding the right type of environment is key to improving your productivity and the overall quality of your work.

How Do You Create a Study Environment?

Like we mentioned before, each person’s ideal study environment may be a little bit different. As you’re looking for the perfect environment, you’ll learn new things about what helps and what distracts you from your goals. Here are a few tips for creating a good study space, to begin with:

  • Choose One Place: Whether you’re a college student living in a dorm or a working professional, it can be very helpful to designate one specific space with your work. Over time, your brain will associate that environment with work and can make it easier to focus and get things done. When you’re continually trying to work in new places, it can be more distracting.
  • Listen to Ambient Noise: If you don’t like absolute quiet, listen to ambient sounds while you work. These could be a noise machine playing ocean sounds, instrumental music — no lyrics! — or even just a fan. These noises can help drown out other sounds that may distract.
  • Gather Everything You Need So you don’t have to keep getting up, collect everything you’ll need before you get started. Your organization will help you get your work done faster and more accurately.
  • Avoid Distraction: When you’re trying to get something done, especially when you’re on a deadline, distraction is your enemy. Make sure your environment is free of as many potential distractions as possible.

If you’re looking for a good study environment at your business or school, incorporating SnapCab® Pods are an excellent solution for providing a quiet and private study space. Compare Pod options now or contact us today to learn more.

Best Design Trends of Modern & Productive Offices

Over 85 percent of office workers say the design of their workplace is important. Yet less than half report its current design meets or enhances their office space productivity. These aren’t great statistics if you’re a manager or director aiming to retain talent, keep morale high and foster organizational growth. Windowless workrooms, bland fluorescent lights and rows of static, immobile desks — they’re probably not helping you get you there.

Those looking to merge form with function have many creative office design ideas and layouts to adopt to break the mundane. Better yet, these modern office concepts and cool interiors pair with keen psychological benefits that’ll boost employee creativity, engagement and efficiency — and overall workplace enjoyment. Let’s look at the top office trends of 2018.

1. Mood-Hacking Color Schemes in Strategic Office Areas

Branded color schemes are relevant, especially for consumer-facing collateral like your website, mobile apps and product packaging. Brand colors are pertinent to specific areas in the office as well, with companies opting to display them at reception, entry points or in conference rooms where outside vendors and important meetings are held.

Yet an office that sticks to only a handful of branded shades is one that ignores the scientific effects of color on employee mood, behavior and productivity. Indeed, it is far more psychologically beneficial to incorporate the full spectrum of colors within strategic office spaces where that color’s emotional trigger meets the space’s intended function.

Mood-Hacking Colors

Here’s how to incorporate strategic color schemes in your office:

  • Blues work best in office areas where communication, level-headedness and cool decisiveness are key. It’s great for formal as well as informal meeting rooms, and within private workstations where the employee can remain calm, confident and focused on their work.
  • Reds are bold and powerful and have both mental and physiological effects on the individual. Offices with accents in red are best used in high-energy, high-collaborative spaces.
  • Greens are calming and securing. They harken to natural elements and make employees feel less anxious and overworked. Allot green in spaces that are purposefully laid back, such as break rooms, cafeterias, employee lounges or coffee and snack stations to amplify the effects of time spent there.
  • Yellows and oranges are perceived as fun, active colors. They do not instill feelings of competition or aggression but rather evoke lightness, airiness and even trustworthiness. Oranges and yellows are particularly attractive for “filler” or transition spaces. Think hallways and walkways where employees can subconsciously benefit from these boosts.

2. Activity-Based Layouts With Unassigned Seating

The next significant shift in creative office layout trends looks to move beyond traditional and open-floor plans alike. Activity-based workstations (ABW) take the best of both these worlds, creating tomorrow’s office iteration where employees aren’t consigned to static desks or cubicles but instead work in environments that are most intuitive and productive for them based on their current task.

ABW layouts that cater to employee workstation freedom are not only shown to promote a more flexible work culture, but they also curate feelings of agency and ownership in the workers themselves, who report higher levels of workplace environment satisfaction and productivity when allowed more versatile office usage.

Here’s how to incorporate activity-based layouts in your office:

  • Unassigned open spaces: More and more modern office design concepts will be tailored toward open workstations — areas where any employee can sit down, open their laptop and dive into work. These will run from traditional to inventive, from tables and desks to benches, bean bags, lounge chairs and couches. The more creative yet still functional, the better.
  • Unassigned private or individual stations: Stand-alone offices like the Snapcab® Pod S provide a quintessential way to lend employees quiet, individual workspaces when they need them, removed from surrounding distractions and buffered from noise.
  • A mix of formal and informal breakout spaces: Rather than relegate team meetings to the same conference room, the best office design plans will look for ways to incorporate versatile seating and furniture into cross-functional spaces. These can be worked organically into an open floor plan using mobile breakout units, unique partitions or added into traditional rooms.

3. Ambient, Natural Lighting Complemented by Diverse Specialty Fixtures

When people picture an office space, too many still conjure up images of endless rows of cubicle desks, lit by similarly linear overhead fluorescent lights. Yet there is hardly anything modern — or anything stimulating — about these traditional fixtures.

The productivity-enhancing effects of natural light are well documented in the workplace. Sunshine simultaneously boosts levels of happiness and decreases feelings of stress or anxiety. The most contemporary workspaces maximize this with floor-to-ceiling windows and plenty of glass partitions replacing solid walls, all to allow natural light to permeate as freely as possible.

Modern office design ideas for small spaces can also help amplify current natural lighting. Install mirrors or glossy, reflective surfaces to help bounce light, especially in small rooms or corners. This will help them look bigger and brighter without having to do expensive window replacements.

Here are some creative, contemporary lights to incorporate in your office:

  • Cove lighting: Linear lighting built into raised recessed ceilings are incredibly trendy and eye-catching.
  • Spotlights: Quirky and decorative installations that offices use to highlight art, display cases and other expressive features.
  • Pendant lighting: Hanging lights can be the focal point of the room, using aesthetic suspensions that illuminate objects or areas directly below.
  • Track lighting: Lights are mounted to a ceiling track and can extend across large swaths of space, including spacious conference rooms, hallways and open floor plans.
  • Pay attention to warm and cool light rays: Warmer light fixtures, like incandescent, can give a candlelight-like quality to the rooms they power, especially if the color scheme of that room is equally warm. Today’s LED light fixtures aim to replicate natural sunlight as much as possible and balance cool blue light with a warmer spectrum.

4. Outdoor Patios, Terraces and Employee-Lounge Rooftops

While on the topic of natural light, why not take its benefits to the next level with designated outdoor spaces for your employees?

Indeed, a workforce with access to gardens and outdoor, open-air green spaces report reinvigorated levels of energy after sitting in them for as little as five minutes. This is because natural sunlight and fresh air stimulate the pineal gland in our brain, which interprets light levels and is responsible in part for things like mood stability and mental acuity. Studies have shown that employees who sit closer to windows or have views of outdoor patios and terraces are even less likely to call in sick. 

Simply put, any way you can get your employees outdoors is a benefit to your bottom line.

outdoor workplace

Here are a few ways to incorporate outdoor spaces at your office:

  • A deck or patio with plenty of seating variety
  • Outdoor terraces, also with accompanying seating
  • An office garden, perhaps even one growing produce for employees
  • A rooftop lounge with some greenery and shade
  • Outdoor dining options, even something as simple as a picnic table

5. Biophilic Office Design Features

One of the best office layout and interior trends of 2018 revolves around biophilic features. Now, don’t let the fancy name intimidate you. Biophilic design’s thesis is simple — create as much overlap between outdoor and indoor environments as possible to curate natural, green-centric offices — and all its related productivity and wellness benefits.

While biophilic design relies heavily on plants and greenery, it also lends itself to an office space’s arrangement and overall form. Think elements like water features to designate separate departments in an open-concept office or rock slats positioned as partitions instead of cubicles or half-walls.

Your employees will reap the rewards. Environmental psychology studies have shown that proximity to biophilic features in an office boosts employee well-being, creativity and positivity by 15 percent and productivity by six percent. Not bad for some rocks and trees.

Here’s how to incorporate biophilic design in your office:

  • Fewer straight lines and more curves in walls, staircases, landings and walkways
  • “Living” walls, especially with moss or ferns
  • Abundant and diverse planters
  • Hanging gardens
  • Rock gardens or other stone installations
  • Ponds or similar water features

6. Quirky, Eclectic and Surprising Furniture

Consider why many people work from coffee shops or enjoy the ambiance of a hotel lobby or lounge. It’s not because these places serve tasty drinks, though they do that too. It’s because their interiors are visually styled to match a spirited aesthetic, most prominently with their choices and range of furniture. 

The best current office design trends have seen a major shift away from linear rows of desks and tables. Instead, the secret to trendy furniture in your office is to show some personality. Think differing pieces done in various upholsteries, textures and fabrics lining office furnishings, fabricated in different shapes and forms to catch the eye and entice a sit. Not everything has to be matchy-matchy, either, displaying only fabrics in one or two “expected” branded colors.

Here’s how to incorporate furniture with personality in your office:

  • Seating: Consider variety first — couches, armchairs, wobble chairs, cushions, mats, swing chairs, bar stools and even hammocks in open spaces, private stations and meeting rooms alike.
  • Surfaces: Circular and rectangle tables, standing desks, sitting desks, coffee and end tables, mixed and matched for an eclectic and cozy office.
  • Shelving: Shelving works both on walls and as walls or fabricated into creative office partitions. They can be built from different materials and installed as hanging, mounted or stand-alone units.
  • Functional furniture: Coat racks, bike racks, filing cabinets, tables, benches and more — the more creative you can get, the better.

7. Private and Collaborative Sound-Centric Spaces

The uptick in open-office floor plans does increase collaboration and a sense of employee camaraderie in today’s workplace layouts. But it comes at a cost — namely noise levels.

Office workers routinely cite they want a balance between private, quiet workspaces and open, relaxed interpersonal ones. Striking that office sound balance is a crucial design question for contemporary office layout, as they aim to maximize floor space without over-cramming, over-cluttering or building unused, static rooms filled with impractical furniture.

The best office layout for productivity is, therefore, one whose furniture and floor plan work together to solve the problem. It creates the spatial flexibility employees crave while reducing the noise and distractions that modern offices court.

Here’s how to incorporate diverse, flexible work stations into your office without noise or clutter:

  • SnapCab Pods: With three sizes meant to accommodate three different work-station types, Pods balance the flexibility with the productivity needed in a contemporary office. Pod S can work as individual or private workstations, while Pod M and Pod L units are easily configurable as stand-alone offices or breakout meeting rooms. Plus, each Pod size is mobile and contains sound-absorbing acoustic felt to decrease noise distractions further.
  • SnapCab Portals: SnapCab Portals aim to bring office flexibility to a single surface. Featuring Corning® Gorilla® Glass, these multi-media walls combine a television with a whiteboard so you can work, write, present and communicate all from one contemporary, collaborative surface.

8. Out-of-the-Box Dividers and Partitions

Wall partitions strike an important psychological balance in productive office layouts — they allow workers privacy and properly designated areas for their work types yet still maintain a sense of openness and ease. Rather than segment departments by rooms, walls or cubicles, dividers and partitions keep layouts welcoming without sacrificing a little functional structure.

Modern office interior design spruces up this concept by swapping unique dividing features with old static ones. These creative dividers and partitions are also one of the most achievable design trends out there. Small and medium-sized operations alike can easily install stylish partitions beyond the average frosted glass, meaning expensive renovations or upgrades are unnecessary.

Partitions

9. Home-Like Touches

In a final contemporary design twist, offices are looking for more ways to add “homey” touches to their workspaces. After all, when people spend nearly a third of their time at work, it makes sense to bridge the familiar with the functional and the comfortable with the corporate.

The benefits of adding home-like design touches to the office are dynamic. Cozy decor and warm and personalized pops reduce levels of stress, fatigue and anxiousness while decreasing office issues like absenteeism. It also encourages employees to feel as if they have more ownership of a space since it comes tailored to making them feel more relaxed.

Adding home-like decor is especially important in collaborative spaces like small conference rooms, breakout areas and recreational or break rooms, if you have them. You want these office areas to curate a sense of ease and collaboration, especially in those spaces that are fundamentally meant to recharge. This is a lot harder to do if you have bland, mundane, office-centric furniture and decorations.home like touches

Here’s how to incorporate home-like decor in your office:

  • Task lighting, with a unique mix of desk and floor lamps
  • Rugs
  • Throw pillows
  • End tables
  • Window shades and curtains
  • Plants
  • A mix of carpet and wood floors
  • A designated, separate communal kitchen or dining space — not just a dirty microwave shoved in a corner

Office Designs and Layouts That Balance Productivity and Personality — Plus Benefit Your Bottom Line

SnapCab has been making spatial solutions for the modern productive office for over 20 years, and we want yours to be a part of the story.

Today’s open offices simply don’t have to pick between form and function. With our Pods and Portals, you get the full range of productivity-enhancing workspaces outfitted with collaborative, creative technology plus the aesthetic touches your staffers crave.

Reach out to us today. We’d love to discuss how Pods and Portals can bring modern office design and layout trends to your space without compromising employee efficiency or brand integrity.

Product Innovations Award

SnapCab® is pleased to announce that BUILDINGS Media recently awarded our SnapCab® Pod with a Product Innovations award. The SnapCab® Pod is an elite member of innovative commercial building management products that will be featured in BUILDINGS magazine’s August 2018 issue and on its website. The Pod received the Grand Award in the Product Innovations category.

The BUILDINGS editorial team evaluated product submissions based on their innovation in their industry and their contributions to increased efficiency in the workplace. Entrants were limited to exhibitors at NeoCon 2018 with products relating to industrial building management.

Editors then judged the products in person at NeoCon 2018, a convention held in Chicago’s Merchandise Mart that highlights breakthrough innovations in commercial design. The BUILDINGS team selected winners whose products best support users in industrial applications including education, healthcare, retail, government and more.

 

About BUILDINGS

Product innovation awardSince 1906, BUILDINGS Media has served facility owners and experts involved in the development, construction and management of commercial buildings. More than 74,000 commercial building professionals trust BUILDINGS for the latest product and technology news. Its magazine, newsletter and website provide the latest industry news and information that encourages commercial managers across the world to make the best decisions on maintaining, operating and innovating their facilities.

BUILDINGS has supported innovators in commercial building management through its annual Product Innovations award program, which rewards enhancements in user productivity and building performance. Winners of the award receive coverage on the BUILDINGS homepage, in its e-newsletter, across social media and on the BUILDINGS online products page for maximum visibility to facility managers.

About the SnapCab® Pod

The SnapCab® Pod, one of SnapCab’s most recent additions, launched in 2017. Later that year, the Pod was awarded the Best of NeoCon Silver Award 2017 by a jury of architects, designers and facility managers.

The Pod, a standalone quiet space for libraries, colleges, offices, outpatient facilities and other commercial settings, features the ease of installation and use that our products are known for. The Pod’s installation is quick and easy thanks to its clear labeling, modular design and plug-and-play electrical connection. It can then be relocated as often as needed, with hidden wheels mounted below that make mobility a breeze.

The sound-absorbing Pod allows workers and students to study, conduct interviews and handle phone calls with ease, no matter how busy the work environment is. Users can select from hundreds of wall panel color and design choices and beautiful Corning® Gorilla® Glass to make the Pod stand out. These customizable options can even be changed down the road to coordinate with rebranding efforts or a change in décor.

About SnapCab

The team at SnapCab has spent over 20 years crafting innovative solutions for elevators and offices. We were built on a foundation of craftsmanship and quality, and we continue to pioneer innovative solutions to commercial building managers and professionals.

SnapCab® Partners With Steelcase

At NeoCon 2018, we announced an exciting development: We’re joining Steelcase’s network of innovative partners. Steelcase will become the exclusive distributor of SnapCab® Pods. Working together will make us more accessible to forward-thinking organizations than ever.

What Is Steelcase?

Founded in 1912, Steelcase has provided inspiring space solutions for over a century. They host a family of brands featuring a wide variety of architecture, furniture and technology that help leading organizations get the job done. Their innovative approach and hard work clearly pay off — during the 2018 fiscal year, they earned $3.1 billion. Steelcase empowers offices, schools and healthcare organizations to create an ecosystem of spaces that promote focus, collaboration and learning.

Steelcase makes every kind of furniture and architecture involved in organizational spaces. Their seating and tables appear in rooms meant for both work and play. Storage solutions such as shelves and file cabinets lead to efficient work. Architecture and space dividers like our Pods let customers make the most out of their areas. Specialty furniture like school desks and patient chairs open up more opportunities for the healthcare and education industries.

Why Did We Decide to Partner?

When we work together with you to make the Pod you envision, we want you to have as many options as possible. The power of choice lets you create a space that fits your needs and taste. A Pod that aligns with your work philosophy encourages better thinking, collaborating and doing. Teaming up with Steelcase allows us to provide even more solutions for you. Steelcase has a similar approach that focuses on their clients. Selling Pods to their customers helps them achieve their goal of creating adaptive spaces for everyone. With Steelcase’s portfolio of creative options and our customizable Pods, the possibilities are just about endless.

This collaboration will also make Pods available to a larger audience. Steelcase has over 800 dealer locations all over the world. Now that we’ve joined the Steelcase network, we can quickly provide new spaces to people in North America. This means the United States, Canada and Mexico have easy access to solutions that work for them. As a bonus, reducing the distance between customer and product lessens our environmental footprint. Our partner Steelcase can now spread their philosophy of innovation more effectively by offering Pods in so many locations.

How Do SnapCab and Steelcase’s Missions Align?

Working with Steelcase was a no-brainer because we have goals and philosophies that unite perfectly. We both dedicate ourselves to empowering customers with only the best space solutions. Our strategies involve creating a quality experience, not just a quality product. At SnapCab, we design our process to be as simple as possible while offering a catalog full of design choices. Steelcase understands that progress requires all aspects of production and service to have the same vision. Their portfolio fosters social, economic and environmental sustainability.

Does This Partnership Affect SnapCab® Elevators and Portals?

For the time being, we plan to offer only Pods through Steelcase — you can buy our other products using the same methods you did before.

Where Can I Learn More?

If we didn’t answer one of your questions about this collaboration, feel free to contact us for more information.

5 Reasons Why SnapCab® Pods Are the Best Quiet Space Solution for Your Office

We see it time and time again. Offices designed with sleek, ultra-contemporary open concepts and expansive layouts. 

Open-concept offices are aesthetically pleasing and easy on the wallet. As the demand for office rental continues to grow, so do the costs — particularly in urban areas, central neighborhoods and cities competing for a young and vibrant workforce. Open floor plans maximize the square footage of a space while encouraging collaboration and camaraderie. They incorporate a range of trendy designs and features, from high ceilings and interactive common spaces to sweeping floor plans filled with laid back, wall-to-wall workstations. 

Yet, there are drawbacks to open-concept layouts. One common complaint is noise, and lots of it.

Noise level and privacy are the primary concerns when it comes to today’s open-concept layouts. How do offices balance their desire for mood-boosting environments and collaborative work while still increasing productivity and profits?

At SnapCab®, we’ve manufactured a solution: SnapCab® Pod.

SnapCab Pod 101: What Are Pods?

SnapCab Pods are our stand-alone, private booths built for sound absorption and productivity. They’re a cost-effective way for an office to reduce noise and maintain distraction-free work zones. Plus, they’ve been engineered from the get-go to address every detail that comes with providing alternative workspaces, with three unique functions:

stand-alone, prive booths

  • Design to your Taste: While our standard Pod comes in a beautiful white gloss laminate, you can also personalize your Pod. Pick a laminate from any manufacturer, or choose Corning® Gorilla® Glass and pick from a range of colors, logos, gigapixel images, and more. Note: Personalization increases lead-time and price.

  • Wheel into Place: Offices grow and change to reflect the growth and changes of its business. Just as your physical space will inevitably require alterations, your Pods can be relocated to match any new spatial needs. Because of their mobile caster mounts and wheels, Pods are easy and effortless to move and can be relocated in a matter of minutes.

  • Update your Space: Pods are clean templates made to enhance any present or future space. Their panels can easily be upgraded to match rebranding efforts or office remodels, meaning you save time and money when that design day comes.

These features only scratch the surface of what a SnapCab Pod lends to a professional space. Never again stress about the sound and space issues of your office with our unique noise-barrier booths and their range of design features and affordances.

Here are five more reasons to choose SnapCab Office Pods. 

1. Pod Wall Panels Are Manufactured to Be the Ultimate Office Noise Barrier

Women in podOur acoustic office booths are built to mask sound. From top to bottom, every detail comes designed to create that ideal quiet space for individuals and groups looking to enter a distraction-free work zone.

First, sound absorption means conversations occurring inside Pods — from solo phone calls to multi-person collaborative brainstorming sessions — don’t seep outside. Second, sitting in a Pod provides a much-needed, sealed noise barrier, without the distractions and interruptions assumed in the everyday office. 

It’s the best of both noise worlds. First, SnapCab Pods are built around wall panels finished with high-pressure plastic laminate. Laminate choices and finishes are customizable, starting with our clean, high-gloss White and extending to personalized colors, patterns and the possibility of Corning® Gorilla® Glass interior and exterior additions. We can also source your custom laminate from nearly any laminate manufacturer, at your request.

Second, our Pods’ sound-masking design allow the wall panels to fit together like a puzzle. Panels interlock together, doors come with noise-reducing seals, and Pods include an acoustic felt ceiling and a precision carpet foundation. All combine for the complete office-noise reducing experience.

These two design fundamentals marry to create our sound reducing Pods. Distractions stay out. Conversations and productivity stay in.

2. Seal in a Serious Quiet Space With Tempered Glass Doors

Our tempered glass doors are some of the best in the industry. We’ve spent countless hours tweaking their build and makeup for Pod application, and they come standard in our acoustic booths. 

We apply tempered glass to both the Pod door and the front wall of the Pod. This creates a bright and inviting environment where users can see into the main office, and vice versa, while remaining secluded. The overall effect is one that makes Pods feel like a design extension of your office, not a cold, detached afterthought. What’s more, tempered glass doors stand up to natural wear and tear that comes with use.

Tempered glass

You can upgrade your Pod wall panels to ultra-strong and hyper-durable Corning® Gorilla® Glass. This popular glass choice adds aesthetic value, offering a variety of color options and accents, as well as a writeable, white-board surface. Gorilla® Glass can even be tailored to feature a panoramic gigapixel image of your choosing, replicated and printed across interior or exterior panels.


3. Available in Three Quiet Cube Sizes

SnapCab Pods come in three distinct sizes to fit, mix and match your ideal cubed set up.Three pod sizes

  • SnapCab Pod S: The first and most intimate quiet space option. Seating 1-2 people, Pod S allows one row of seating and an optional, wall-mounted table. It’s best suited for solo work and private phone room or video calls, as well as a flex option to an individual’s desk space.
  • SnapCab Pod M: Expands booth functionality to make room for 2-4 people. Seating around a central, wall-mounted table means the Pod M is perfect for focus rooms with small interactions, one-on-one collaborations and small, interactive formal or informal meetings.
  • SnapCab Pod L: The largest and most versatile quiet pod type. Seating 4-6 people, the Pod L makes the most of quality meetings while including all the acoustic, noise-reducing materials from above to curb distractions — which can add up in a group! SnapCab L Pods solve another common office problem as well, freeing up the use of larger conference rooms that often get booked for meetings of only a few people. This ensures your biggest and most coveted conference spaces are reserved only for parties that truly fit their size. What’s more, the dimensions of SnapCab Pod L make them large enough to also work as a dynamic private office for one.

All Pod types include the standard, noise-barrier product inclusions of tempered glass, tailored doors, interior and exterior wall paneling, door seals, acoustic felt ceiling to a sound-reducing carpet and aesthetic customizations. Each is reconfigurable and mobile. 

4. Pods Are Mobile Quiet Booths on Wheels

The freedom and versatility that comes with our mobile Pods cannot be overstated. You get maximum flexibility and creativity to milk the natural square footage of your space, with some of the easiest installation on the market. 

Our mobile-first Pods are thanks to the seamless design behind our high-load phenolic casters and floor attachments, each tested for ease and longevity. Use the casters to rotate, move and match Pods, then fasten the floor attachments to lock in their new location. 

Pods can be configured to create a range of room additions previously unavailable to a blank, open-floor canvas. A wall of Pods can create elegant and contemporary room partitions, be clustered as breakout booths in corners, mixed and matched as independent office types and meeting spaces or get stretched as wall-to-wall flex spaces for individual work. The options are seemingly limitless. If you get bored with a look today, you can change it tomorrow. 

We’re so proud of their user-friendly mobility, we claim you can build and tailor a Pod cluster in your office in 48 hours or less.

5. Increase the Productivity and Retainment of Your Employees

You have more important things on your mind then monitoring and analyzing the productive capabilities of your office every day. Inconspicuous and hassle-free, Pods contribute to a number of design elements that research shows leads to employee happiness, productivity and stress-relief. 

More so than traditional conference rooms or static, built-in office booths, Pods allow natural light to permeate individual cubes. Their glass doors and front walls seamlessly take in bright light without sacrificing the noise levels open concepts naturally court. Pods also double as private outlets for employees. Studies by companies and universities alike show employees crave various amounts of alone and quiet time, often citing it as the number-one necessity to get high-level projects done. What’s more, our customizable Pods allot color and texture to your office. Layering a space with various materials, surfaces, colors and reflections doesn’t just look nice — it makes us feel nice, too. Employees are likelier to rate their workdays as more stimulating, fulfilling and less draining when working in areas with texture and color. 

alone & quiet time

As if that wasn’t enough, Pods can even help retain current employees, as well as recruit top talent. That’s because SnapCab Pods contribute to what’s known as integrative office wellness — the growing attention companies are paying to the environmental and cultural details that create a healthy daily atmosphere. With Pods, you check some key notes off the office wellness list: A variety of workspaces, an understanding of different work types and a nod toward individual needs and inputs amongst your workforce.

All Pod types come equipped with some extra unique features to ensure your office maintains the highest quality and most functional quiet booths around.

  • Motion sensors: Overhead lights and fans are activated by a motion sensor.
  • Soft lighting: To enhance their calming acoustics, Pods have low-profile LED overhead fixtures that provide indirect light. Like the care directions you receive for houseplants, indirect light is well-diffused but not aggressive or glaring. We place our fixtures in a drop ceiling design that disguises them for a cleaner, more contemporary look.
  • Code compliant: All Pods are fire-code compliant with the option for sprinkler connection and installation. In addition, Pods are classified as systems furniture. This means you won’t have to jump through extra coding hoops when designing, installing or moving them — a major bonus in the case of a complete office remodel.
  • Easy to clean: You never have to worry about tedious clean-ups of fingerprints, streaks, dirt or oil. Pods are some of the easiest products for you to clean and maintain. All that’s required are non-abrasive cotton clothes dampened with water or familiar mild glass cleaners, like Windex. Avoid chemical solutions or treatments, as well as abrasive powders and scouring pads. Explore our Use & Care Guide for more questions, especially when it comes to the upkeep of Gorilla® Glass with your Pods.

Pods S, M and L also all come with their own variety of optional furniture. We supply accompanying furniture in-house to make sure it fits the exact dimension of your Pods. That way, you’re equipped with everything you need from the get-go to install and start using your Pods as quickly as possible.

accompanying furniture

Standard furniture options include:

  • Seating: Benches and chairs configured to seat 1-6 people. Materials and sizes also contribute to the acoustic sound-absorption of your Pods.
  • Tables: Wall-mounted tables work as the simplest surface for your laptops and work materials.

When it comes to noise-reducing office solutions, we’re proud to offer our range of award-winning quiet Pods. They’re cutting edge, contemporary, customizable, space-enhancing and a breeze to install. As functional as they are aesthetic, we know you’ll get what all the hype is about after just one use — and your employees will, too! 

Interested in learning more? SnapCab Pods could be exactly what your open-concept office or workspace calls for. We’d love to help! See firsthand what effects these acoustic Pods can have on your space and work culture by requesting a free quote today.