Office furniture has undergone a revolution.
Gone are the days of stationary, rectangular desks squeezed inside boxy cubicles. You can wave goodbye to bulky metal file cabinets shoved into corners surrounded by flat fluorescent lights. And you can forget those traditional meeting rooms with long tables and uncomfortable chairs that are somehow always booked — yet for gatherings of two to three people.
Internal office booths and acoustic Pods have changed the game, shifting the way people think about and use space while at work. That rethinking means workers are demanding more flexibility, more mobility and more creativity from office furniture itself, plus its arrangement.
SnapCab® Pods fit right into this movement. Our unique paneling systems and sleek, moveable modules allow you to configure each of the three sizes to your space’s exact needs.
Not sure what those needs may be — and therefore which configuration functions best? We’ve got a few Pod setup suggestions below, plus the atmosphere and workplace behaviors each promotes.
1. Perimeter or Against-the-Wall Pods
One of the most popular and intuitive places we see Pods set up is around the edge of the office.
Those looking to maximize the innate nature of Pods as stand-alone office privacy booths often do so, through a perimeter configuration. Pods sit out of central locations, removed from louder areas and work spots that contain added distractions like chatty co-workers, break rooms or noisy departmental areas.
In open-concept offices, these noises can be especially burdensome. Pods pushed against office perimeters lend a break when your employees need it most. This very positioning says, “I’m in here to focus,” with Pods separated from the rest of the furniture pack in a notably inconspicuous area.
- Pod S pushed against the perimeter provides an individual retreat for those needing a break from any surrounding hustle and bustle. An entire wall of Pods S ensures these same individual workstations are available if anyone needs them.
- Pod M fits two to four people and can provide the same respite for a small group of co-workers working together on a project and in need of an acoustic, sound-absorbing space.
- Pod L upgrades the collaborative affordances of Pod M. Groups of three to six can comfortably work inside or conduct meetings that require attention and focus, removed from the rest of the office.
2. Strategic and Acoustic Pod Partitions
The portability and innate privacy Pods make them ideal for a second setup idea, one as practical as it is popular in open-concept offices: partitions.
Given their modular build and easy-to-move frames, it’s easy to see why. A handful of Pods side by side, one after the other, creates a wall-like barrier that can afford workspaces several cost-effective spatial arrangements:
- Designates departments — In the trendy open or semi-open floor plans of today, office partitions are a must. They reduce sound drift, provide much-needed privacy and elevate the layout of the entire room, often at a fraction of the cost of building walls or refurbishing.
- Denotes activity-based workstations — Activity-based workstations (ABW) provide an alternative to assigned desks in your office layout. Rather than every employee receiving an immovable desk in a static department or area, an ABW design allows them to pick where they want to work that day — or that hour — based on their immediate tasks. ABW gives flexibility and autonomy back to workers and has been shown to positively influence employee mood, as well as physical, social and emotional well-being while at work. SnapCab Pods are the perfect partitions to separate and designate your office’s ABWs.
- Creates privacy screens and barriers — One side of partition Pods may contain employee workstations, while on the other side is a lounge area outfitted with comfortable couches and a coffee bar. The following row of Pod partitions could help separate sales and IT — two different departments with varying spatial needs, worker preferences, furniture and even technological outfitting. Pods are a natural way to divide these spaces without isolating them.
Privacy pods as partitions for any of the above purposes balance collaboration with privacy, which is something many offices today still struggle with when attempting to give employees the versatile seating and layout options they crave. Too little spatial structuring can create confusion, disorganization and hinder productivity. Linear partition Pods prevent this.
3. L-Arranged Office Furniture Pods
More inventive than traditional linear rows, L-arranged office Pods offer a significant advantage by creating a “huddle-like” atmosphere. The half-open, half-closed space creates an inviting meeting area or go-to collaborative spot with easy access. Participants sit facing one another within the L-huddle the Pods create, an arrangement great for innovative group sessions, brainstorming and intimate team-oriented or departmental projects.
Even individuals working inside the Pods remain connected to their surroundings. The Pods’ tempered glass door provides a clear view of the outside, yet its interior still holds all the acoustic, sound-absorbing Pod features needed in a busy office.
What’s more, L-arrayed Pods work great within smaller offices and workspaces. You can maximize your available square footage without burdening or overcrowding the space — or, worse, filling it with beautiful furniture that doesn’t add any functionality for your employees, or vice versa.
The L-arrangement truly facilitates group problem-solving and identity, as well as inter-office connectivity. You can mix and match the three Pod sizes to create the ideal, eclectic L or align identical booths for a more cohesive look. The choice is up to you — the results of this Pod arrangement can quickly influence your entire work-culture philosophy.
- Productivity — A productive workplace tends to be a more positive one. A more positive workplace, in turn, retains more employees and draws in tomorrow’s talent.
- Connection — Work relationships are instrumental to mental and physical health. Higher employee rankings regarding their satisfaction with workplace colleagues also correlate with higher happiness levels, as well as reduced workplace stress and anxiety.
- Engagement — Employees report more engagement with their job as well as with their employer’s brand and mission when they feel interpersonally connected and supported.
- Sociability — Workplaces need to be productive. But employees can’t be “on” all hours of the day. A healthy work culture should recognize the need for sociability and curate it through layout hacks — exactly what L-arranged portable Pods can do.
4. Centrally Arranged Sound-Absorbing Office Pods
Centrally arranged Pods are the yin to perimeter Pods’ yang. Instead of lining the exterior of rooms, departments or the entire floorplan with acoustic office Pods, you place those Pods right in the middle.
Centrally located Pods strike the right balance between privacy and casualness. They keep the integrity of an open-floor plan alive, yet help absorb noises and nuisances interrupting productive work.
There are several additional benefits to centrally arranged Pods, as well as a range of functions this configuration allows. Plus, it can provide these functions simultaneously — some other arrangement types may not be able to. All at once, central internal office Pods can create:
- A breakout space — Not quite a full-fledged conference room and not quite a stuffy, cramped meeting room, the breakout space is a popular choice for offices with a startup-like buzz and the need for impromptu employee gatherings. That energy effortlessly pools into these ultra-collaborative rooms you can build from either a Pod M or Pod L. Because of their central positioning, they’re directly in sight and top of mind for employees who need to grab a spot for the group, quickly and informally.
- Room partitions — Centrally arranged acoustic office Pods break up the sprawl of an open floor plan. They visually enhance its expanse while divvying up departments, desks or activity-based workstations. Central Pods that act as room partitions also help reduce free-floating noise from disrupting your workers. Because as we all know, all it takes is for one co-worker discussing last night’s game to pull us away from our work.
- Office phone Pods — Placing a Pod S and Pod M in the middle of a room gives employees a secure, private place to dip into for phone calls, video conferences or to take care of personal matters. They won’t distract others and can do so quickly and conveniently in the quiet, contained space.
5. Pod Clusters
Clusters, or strategic groupings of Pods, provide yet another idea to inspire the ways to set up your office Pods.
In grouping your Pods, you mirror the strategy behind activity-based workstations (ABW). These task-based office layouts prioritize individuals accomplishing their work where they best see fit — therefore catalyzing what they get done in a day.
Offices outfitted with an ABW layout tend to work best with equally flexible and adaptive office furniture. That means moving away from heavy, stationary desks and into more creative office seating and meeting solutions — exactly what Pods S, M and L afford.
By extension, Pod clusters free groups of employees as well as individuals to work privately where and when they like. Workers can arrange and rearrange multiple Pods to face different directions on a convenience or preferential basis. Since they’re free-standing and reconfigurable, you aren’t committed to one look with one set of booths. Add one or two, or take one or two away.
- Aesthetically, Pod clusters create a cozy atmosphere like eclectic arrangements of office furniture. They help break the office layout mold of linear rows of identical furniture, as listless as it is uninspiring. Pod clusters also align with the resimercial design trend that’s exploded in popularity over the past few years, where personalized, homey pops and touches brighten and enliven a workspace. Think patterned wall panels, colorful furniture, throw pillows and unique light fixtures, which SnapCab can fabricate Pod panels to match.
- Functionally, Pod clusters promote greater creativity, flexibility and connectivity in the workplace. They encourage interaction and mobility, handing choice back to employees on which furniture best complements their work styles. The closeness of the clusters assures individuals remain connected to their surroundings, but can still have a laser-focused work spot, while the overall cluster structure supports groups breaking apart and coming back together to accomplish a project.
6. Private Office Alternatives
Due to its size, SnapCab’s Pod L can complete another vital office layout feature: private offices.
With office space at a premium these days, many companies — particularly startups — find it difficult to rent the square footage they need with the budget they have. It’s an understandable and relatively common problem in today’s commercial real estate across the nation’s largest markets.
Sound-absorbing, internal quiet space Pods provide the solution. If renting a space with pre-set offices is too expensive, Pods provide a cost-effective alternative. A Pod L is large enough to accommodate the staple furniture and necessities of an office — the desk, chairs, lights and even small filing cabinets or storage.
Across various office spaces and floor-plan types, an internal office Pod can help create the following:
- A heightened sense of professionalism and legitimacy when new clients visit
- A formal, assigned desk space for upper management and executive personnel
- An official, enclosed but unassigned desk space option for employees to use
- A more secure place for senior executives and upper management to conduct private, higher-level tasks and conversations
- The maximization of office square footage, particularly for open-concept layouts
- More productivity and employee task efficiency, as enclosed offices allow for the utmost privacy and concentration to take place
7. Lone Privacy Pods
Single Pods dispersed across the office lend a final layout option, bringing these versatile booths to life in your space.
Pods offer respite away from the noise, distractions and disturbances that fill the workday. While a few work breaks are inevitable — and even healthy — too many disrupt our momentum and can cause us to produce inferior or even erroneous work.
Solo activities that require hyper focus and attention for most — such as writing reports, creating presentations, drafting pitches, designing a new logo, writing new code or sending important emails — need spaces that support these functions, but in a holistic manner.
It’s not enough to be secluded. True productivity in the workplace also requires maximum levels of quiet, proper lighting, comfortable seating and visual-stimuli reduction all coming together to unlock full worker efficiency. Not every piece of office furniture can do this, plus provide productivity-boosting features like plug-and-play technology and motion-activated lights.
You can disperse single S, M or L Pods into remote office corners, against the walls or in dedicated, centralized floor spots. Create a usage policy or communicate these privacy Pods are for dedicated solo work, the ideal sound-absorbing spaces for high productivity. Sitting in one signals your commitment to your task at hand. Others will know to reach out or check back in with you later, maintaining worker harmony and ensuring you are meeting everyone’s privacy needs.
Pod Office Booths Are the Sound-Absorbing, Privacy-Boosting Benefit to Your Office Layout
The perfect arrangement is only a few clicks away. Explore our gallery of SnapCab Pods in a range of customizations and configurations, then book a free design consultation to bring your portable privacy Pod ideas to life.