As office spaces continue to evolve, Philip Duggan, Director at The Boss Design Group, considers the growing popularity of office pod systems that help create privacy without walls
As the evolution in office furniture and design continues, distinct trends are emerging that channel improved communication and collaboration. Open plan offices lined with cubicles, desks and computers are becoming a thing of the past, whilst less formal environments that incorporate break-out spaces, idea walls, chill-out zones, phone booths and touchdown space - to name but a few - continue to gain ground.
Agile or flexible working takes on the view that work is wherever you go, and this translates into a wider range of locations and settings within the office from which to get the job done. In this holistic approach to office design, some of the real heroes of today’s new office designs are flexible meeting systems, or acoustic office pods as they are commonly known.
Essentially, office pods are designed to give the user a sense of their own private space in the workplace and combined with high acoustic performance, they are ideal for modern offices where personal touchdown spaces and informal collaborative areas are the norm.
Acoustically engineered and fully modular, these pods also offer the ultimate in flexibility. Avoiding the need for planning permission and dilapidation, they can literally be sited almost anywhere in the office. Self-supporting and non floor-fixed, they can also be fully deconstructed and relocated to other parts of the office, if required.
As with all emerging trends, the degree of product sophistication matures over time and the same is true of office pods, with LED lighting, PIR motion sensors to reduce the amount of energy consumed when vacated, and high performance acoustic ceiling panels for enhanced sound insulation, often coming as standard. With options to specify accompanying audio visual screen brackets, through to power and data capability and other technological needs, the Vista pod uses a combination of manifestations and customised graphics, and an extensive palette of fabrics, to offer a truly bespoke solution.
Of course, there will always be the need for traditional boardrooms and meeting rooms within the office arena, however the emergence of office pods now offers interior designers the option to sustain the collaborative work movement and to create rooms within rooms - and all without the need for walls.