Workplace Strategy Guide: Agile Office Pod Placement & Quantity
Our goal is for companies to get the most productivity per square foot possible by providing their employees the spaces they need to thrive and be happy.
While office pods solve noise problems of standard open offices, they also align with the future of employee-centric office design. Agile workplaces or activities-based working will soon be the norm, where employees have more flexibility with where and how to work depending on the task at hand, and where performance is judged based on results rather than time. When placed strategically, office pods increase agility, improve efficiency and communication, strengthen company culture, and reduce stress and employee turnover.
This will sound like a sales pitch, but we’ve never had a client say, “We purchased too many pods.” Our clients always reach back out saying they need more pods because they are always in use. So much so that they had to post a sign on the pods stating a 30-minute time limit.
So how do you make a more informed decision on how many pods you need, what kind of pods, and where to place them? We have your back.
How Many Office Pods Do I Need?
The general guideline is one pod per 5-15 people depending on the work environment. For example, if you’re designing a sales room where most employees are mostly on the phone, you’ll need at least 2 phone booths per 5-15 people. If your workflow is more collaborative in nature, you’ll need more meeting pods than phone booths.
Let’s say you have a staff of 60 and an office space with 3 phone booths and 3 meeting pods, each with a 30-minute time limit. Worst case scenario, one person will occupy each for 30 minutes. That means the pods’ turnover rate is only 6 out of your 60 employees every 30 minutes.
A good rule of thumb is the more noise your workplace has, the more pods you need.
What Kind of Office Pods Do I Need?
Put your employees before your floor plan. The very nature of office pods is employee-centric, so it’s important to note employee personalities, their natural workflow, and the type of work being done in order to support their productivity. Every business has their unique employee workflow, so different combinations of office pods work for different companies.
If your employee tasks are mostly phone or solo based, you’ll need to lean towards phone booths. If your workplace has a lot of quick adhoc meetings, you’ll need a variety of meeting pods. Often, companies will purchase more meeting pods as a precaution since they can be used for one person as well, and single user would more comfortable than in a phone booth.
To get a better understanding of your employee workflow, answer these questions:
- Which employees, teams or areas need collaboration vs. concentration?
- Where is the noise?
- Where does most of the work take place?
- Where do most people gather for work vs. informal chatter?
- Are there areas that are underused or not used at all?
Where Should I Place My Office Pods?
A good rule of thumb is to place pods close to users because, after all, office pods are meant to be used frequently.
Agile workplaces and activities-based working is designed around a variety of zones: focus, collaboration, common areas, play, recharge, etc. Office pods can be used to enhance or help create these zones.
Match your findings from the questions above with the below guidelines to ensure agile office pod placement:
- Noisy areas: Add several Phone Booths in the middle of activity areas near employees so they can see if they’re available, they don’t feel isolated away from colleagues, can answer phone calls quickly, and have less difficulty carrying supplies. Add a Meeting Pod or two for spontaneous meetings or longer solo sessions.
- Walkways: A great place for pods is along areas where people naturally flow like hallways, corridors or between zones.
- Focus work and solo concentration: Phone Booths for short work sessions or phone calls. Meeting Pods for longer periods of time.
- Collaboration and meeting areas: Meeting Pods or larger Conference Pods depending on average meeting size.
- Too much open space: Use a variety office pods to divide the floor plan into smaller activity zones.
- Unused space: Meeting Pods or Conference Pods to hold formal meetings away from the hustle and bustle.
- Common and play areas: Phone booths would be best since people won’t be meeting in these areas and can use the phone booths for a quick call without running back to the desk.
- Unique needs: A lot of companies lack spaces for new mothers to breastfeed or pump. Add a Breastfeeding Pod to support nursing mothers at work while complying with current and future lactation and breastfeeding laws.
What Should I Do After Adding Pods to the Workplace?
Most of our clients, especially coworking spaces, like to hold a small opening ceremony for the pods to announce the addition, show features and discuss guidelines. Encourage employees to use the pods as new ways of working, but with office pods, this naturally happens very quickly.
Observe how the pods are used in case people are in them too long. After a few weeks, gather feedback on how employees feel about them. After a few months, see the effects on your business regarding productivity, quality of work, employee satisfaction and turnover, and any other metrics your company finds valuable.
Are Office Pods Compliant with Fire Code?
We have been informed by multiple fire safety agencies that office pods are considered modular office furniture, so they fall under the general guidelines below:
- Cannot obstruct an entrance or exit.
- Cannot impede visual or audio alarms in the event of an emergency.
- Cannot be installed within 18” of a sprinkler head.
- Cannot block any equipment like fire alarms, fire extinguishers, defibrillators, etc.
- Cannot require special knowledge to open the door.
- The pod door cannot be obstructed.
BrighterBooth: Office Privacy Pod Solutions
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