Portable meeting pods have become one of the trendiest spatial solutions in contemporary office design.
Offering privacy and practicality, these collaborative pods for companies are an intuitive choice to conduct small group meetings or stow away for some private work time.
But, are they only for commercial businesses breaking from cubicle complacency? What other uses are there for pods, and what specific benefits can these acoustic meeting pods bring to your workplace, regardless of industry?
Since we at SnapCab® obsess over conference pods — their looks, features and uses that free us all from workplace convention — we’re here to answer these questions and more with a complete list of applications and benefits for portable privacy pods.
Who Uses Conference Pods?
Custom conference pods come in handy in a variety of environments and applications —more than might meet the eye.
Due to the rising costs of commercial real estate, traditional and open-concept offices alike must balance maximizing their current square footage without crowding or cramping the workspace. After all, it will cost the average single-story office today $160 to $170 to add one square foot to its existing layout. Renting extra office space doesn’t fare much better, either, with rent per square foot averaging $23 — an amount that gets even more expensive when you factor in location, building type and nearby building amenities.
Private meeting pods provide a solution when office square footage is at such a premium. Instead of constructing expensive new conference rooms or reconfiguring the entire office, businesses can assemble mobile, modular privacy booths that satisfy the same function. Pods cost a fraction of the price and don’t carry the disruptions, downtimes and price tag of an office space overhaul.
Educational environments are a second popular home for noise-absorbing acoustic meeting pods. From late-night exam cramming to group project meetings to quiet reading spaces across campus, schools require a variety of flexible and accessible study spaces, including those within:
- College dorm study areas
- College dorm lounges
- Academic buildings
- And more
Students benefit from selecting the privacy space best suited to their needs. Midsized units, like SnapCab’s® Meet 4, make an ideal flex space for one-on-one tutoring, while larger meeting pods for schools, like the Meet 6, can comfortably seat groups of four to six.
3. Medical Environments
Many medical facilities use modular meeting booths as outpatient consulting rooms, as well as quick and convenient areas to hold private conversations with patients and their families.
This sensitivity toward privacy is not only an industry best practice — it’s a compliance concern. Health care regulations outline a range of protections when it comes to safely relaying personally identifiable information in written and verbal form. Several medical facility types — like the following — employ secure, sound-absorbing conference pods to remain in compliance when communicating sensitive medical information with patients and loved ones.
- Veterinary offices
4. Transportation Hubs
Bustling train and subway stations, airport terminals, bus depots and even combination transportation centers benefit from the quiet acoustic pods can bring.
These busy hubs commonly turn pods and pod technology into custom phone booths and rest stations. Travelers can stow away to make phone calls, send important emails or even take a breather from the hustle and bustle of their surroundings — one of the signature perks of SnapCab’s Pods.
Uses for Meeting Pods
You can find private workspace pods across many commercial and private environments. Within those spaces themselves, office meeting pods have a range of uses — uses that range far beyond housing brainstorming sessions or weekly stand-ups. Consider these office pod advantages.
1. Privacy Rooms
Employees today crave privacy. While the trendy open-concept offices and cubicle-free layouts have ushered a new wave of creative and collaborative floorplans, they are notoriously loud and distraction-prone, even for diligent workers.
Modular booths infuse that much-needed, much-missed privacy back into the workspace. For a variety of tasks, peace and quiet are essential for productivity, as well as the participants’ sanity. Privacy booths work well for workplace activities like:
- Annual reviews
- Confidential professional conversations
- Important conference calls and presentations
- Projects requiring prolonged states of deep work
2. Custom Phone and Video Booths
Organizations in the U.S. spend roughly 160 million minutes in voice and video conference calls during the year.
Industry surveys reveal employees tend to lose up to 15 minutes per call handling ad-hoc distractions and bringing conversations back on track. What’s more, over 70% of employees say they’re comfortable discussing confidential or sensitive information during these conference calls, yet don’t tend to consider the security of their immediate environment while doing so.
Office phone booths give a safe, secure location to handle phone and video calls, whether they are routine or confidential. At SnapCab, we make our Talk and Focus booths from sound-reducing panels, complete with an acoustic-absorbing fabric ceiling.
3. Office Wellness Rooms
Office wellness booths, or “Zenbooths,” are an increasingly trendy feature in many contemporary workplaces. Businesses often choose these rooms to match company culture and embody corporate values, as well as recognizing employees’ very human need to recharge in a private place.
These calming, stimulus-free stations give employees an appropriate setting to temporarily relax without causing a scene or disturbing colleagues. Common wellness booth themes include enclosed spaces for meditation, stretching, yoga and similar activities relevant to your workforce’s tastes and interests.
4. Collaborative Meeting Booths
Just as booths make secluded spaces for private phone and video calls, they double as versatile meeting pods for companies that require additional conference space.
The design of many acoustic pods keeps group productivity in mind. SnapCab’s Meet 4 and Meet 6 pods — which seat up to four and six people, respectively — contain seating, tables, LED lighting, Wi-Fi connectivity, Corning® Gorilla® Glass interior panels that double as whiteboards and plenty of electrical outlets. Our four-person meeting booth is the perfect environment for uninterrupted collaborative get-togethers, both scheduled and impromptu.
5. Individual or Group Workstations
As businesses scale, they require workspace solutions that’ll grow and adapt as they do, plus remain in good condition across years of use and even after brand aesthetic changes.
SnapCab pods come with a unique modular design on wheels, positioning them as the ultimate flexible desk pod. A pod can begin as a group meeting flex space, but quickly transition to a private workstation dedicated to individual deep work. In some offices where employees don’t receive desk assignments at all, this workspace flexibility is the natural choice to maintain horizontal collaboration and fluidity, while giving employees the desk functionality they need.
6. Private Offices
Today’s typical office employee will get interrupted at work once every 11 minutes. That same employee will need another 23 minutes to shift back into work mode, picking up wherever they left off.
SnapCab’s Meet 4 and Meet 6 pods make convenient, cost-effective private offices, removing employees from their distraction-prone environments. Use them as flex offices available on rotation or even as assigned office spaces for employees or management, housing their complete desk workstation.
7. Snack Stations
SnapCab’s Meet 6 pods’ 71″ x 71″ x 78″H interior dimensions are the perfect size to contain a mini snack bar or coffee station. Tuck them into corners of the office to make it easier for employees to grab what they need, then return to their desk, or add them to current break rooms or dining areas without requiring expensive room renovations. Plus, SnapCab pods come with motion-activated LED light fixtures and fans, meaning no one forgets to turn off the lights and food and beverage smells don’t affect the entire office.
8. Conversation Booths
Ad-hoc conversations between employees quickly catching up after the weekend or discussing their shared favorite TV show all have a time and place in the office. Yet they can be distracting, not only for their participants, but for those around them, especially when they occur sporadically at desks.
Company meeting pods create a designated place for conversations that don’t disturb others in the vicinity. Employees can even use these booths to take lunches or have coffee breaks with colleagues, further reducing the likelihood of distracting, but inevitable, conversations.
9. Nap Pod
Nearly every detail of privacy pod fabrication creates a temperature-controlled, noise-absorbing room well-suited to a growing workplace trend — employee naps.
While napping at work still strikes many as unprofessional, research shows the significant benefits of even brief naps timed mid-morning or mid-afternoon. Portable privacy pods are the place for workers to stow away for some necessary R&R, increasing alertness, attention spans, mental acuity and overall productivity.
10. Office “Neighborhoods”
Unassigned office layouts, or the “agile” office, is an emerging workplace organizational structure where no employee receives a desk assignment. Instead, employees work wherever they feel most productive — then have the freedom to pick a new workspace pod every day.
Use larger multi-pod configurations to designate department types or themed work areas. For example, arrange a cluster of Meet 4 and Meet 6 Pods and outfit it to serve as the collaborative brainstorming hub for the entire organization. Nearby, Connects partitions and acoustic sound-absorbing pod layouts can create a designated focus space for employees concentrating on immersive solo work.
Meeting Pod Advantages
Across their uses and applications, custom meeting pods bring a range of benefits to the organizations employing them.
1. Quiets Working in an Open Office Environment
Pods contribute to improved office acoustics, both inside and outside their panel walls:
- Felt-lined interior panels to soak and contain sounds
- Glass doors to create a premium sealed noise barrier
- Acoustic felt ceiling and carpet to reduce sound transfer further
When configured strategically, meeting pods introduce natural office sound barriers and partitions that reduce overall sound travel. This feature is especially valuable if your office has plenty of materials like flush walls, glass, tile, stone or concrete, or is an open-concept floorplan.
2. Portable and Reconfigurable
Most conference spaces in offices are permanent fixtures built during initial construction. These static spaces cannot move, rearrange or scale as you do, plus they rely on people using them according to capacity best practices.
Conference-room congestion becomes an issue of the past when offices adopt portable conference booths. SnapCab’s Meet 4 and Meet 6 Workspaces are particularly ideal solutions, designed as modular kits with high-load phenolic casters to easily pivot, re-angle or all-out move the booths to another location.
Private meeting booths cost a fraction of what renovating new meeting rooms within your current square footage or constructing new office additions altogether do. Consider hourly contractor rates alone. Plus, any new constructions will be static, unable to scale or adapt to shifting employee needs over time. Opting for mobile, modular and reconfigurable pod meeting spaces is the far more economical choice —and the greener one, too.
Conference pods, including those from SnapCab, come with customizable laminate panels available in premium white or a rainbow of colors.
Looking to go beyond laminate? Individual pod panels can also be fabricated from:
- Gorilla Glass whiteboard
- Gorilla Glass Gigapixel custom large-format, high-resolution printed graphics
- A mix of white and color laminates
- All of the above
Finish customizing your pod with optional furniture like seating and tables, each made to match the overall aesthetic of the entire conference desk pod.
You can arrange conference Workspaces to seat entire groups of people or house workstations. They’re still fundamentally compact units, designed with an eye toward maximizing current space rather than overwhelming it, all through easy reconfigurability and maneuverings.
SnapCab designs its meeting and conferencing Pods to meet these spatial needs with the following dimensions.
- SnapCab Meet 4 pod: 53″ x 77″ x 91″ exterior/47″ x 71″ x 78″ interior
- SnapCab Meet 6 pod: 77″ x 77″ x 91″ exterior/71″ x 71″ x 78″ interior
6. Tech Outfitted
How many times have you entered a meeting, only to realize your laptop battery is dangerously low?
Conference workstation pods remedy this pain point, built to house — at an arm’s reach — all the tech equipment and features necessary to stay productive during collaborative work. Common booth tech features include USB ports, power stations, lighting and plenty of outlets, all providing a plug-and-play workstation ready when you and your colleagues need it most.
SnapCab’s meeting booths feature modular designs. That means we manufacture them to assemble how you want, where you want, in one complete snap-into-place kit. And because they’re on wheels, you can quickly reconfigure meeting pod layouts to suit your in-the-moment preferences, wheeling these mobile meeting booths here, there and back again — much like a game of Tetris. If you can put together and place a piece of Ikea furniture, you’re ready for mobile conference pods like those from SnapCab.
Curious about custom meeting and group conference pods for your workplace? Send your questions to SnapCab! We’ve seen the benefits our custom meeting pods have brought to countless workplaces and their employees — and we can’t wait to do the same for you.