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Brighter Blog

Privacy & Natural Light in the Workplace
soundproof office meeting pod acoustic booth
The Best Office Meeting Pods of 2020

Confidential meeting booths and privacy pods have become a staple in open office design, and rightfully so. The open office design is used by most offices because it costs less to design and build, and it promotes collaboration, but it also increases noise and distraction.

Constructing a permanent, structural room is a risk because it:

  • Defeats the purpose of an open office by creating walls and barriers
  • Won’t be soundproof or effectively acoustic
  • Usually costs more than an office pod
  • Requires regulation compliance and inspection
  • May not be used or liked by employees
  • Can’t be taken with you to a new location
  • Is a huge headache to manage all the moving parts
  • Requires closing part of the office and relocating employees

Instead, companies are making their lives easier by simply investing in modular soundproof meeting pods where the only decisions they have to make are the color and where they want the pod placed.

7 Reasons Why Your Office Needs a Meeting Pod

Soundproof meeting pods offer a variety of benefits for a relatively small investment that goes with you as your company grows. This long-term investment offers long-term benefits:

  1. Increases privacy, focus and productivity.
  2. Improves privacy by keeping phone calls and meetings confidential.
  3. Promotes an agile workplace and activity-based working.
  4. Avoids strict construction regulation as office pods are considered modular office furniture.
  5. Strengthens company culture and morale.
  6. Reduces turnover and attracts top talent.
  7. Enhances professionalism with clients as background noise is unprofessional.

High Quality Meeting Pods: Do Your Research

Like with any other purchase, it’s important to do your research. If you want to know the quality of a company's office pods, look at the materials they use and the method of delivery and installation. High quality materials mean a high quality product. The method of delivery and installation gives insight into the pod’s construction and design.

BrighterBooth's office pods are designed with high quality materials like:

  • Welded steel frame and sheet metal walls
  • Thick shatterproof glass
  • Fiberglass core inside the walls and ceiling
  • Dense fiberglass interior acoustic panels
  • Airtight latching door and handle
  • Carpeted floor and ceiling

BrighterBooth offers turnkey delivery and installation by professionally freight truck ships the crated pods to a verified, local installation company. Then an installation team delivers prefabricated steel panels that bolt together onsite. BrighterBooths virtually last forever and are extremely low maintenance.

Other office pod companies may use the Ikea method of flat box shipping directly to you where you build it with an allen wrench. They use cheaper and lighter materials that are accepted by standard mail services, and can be built by the average office employee.

BrighterBooth Features

All BrighterBooths contain amenities your employees need to be happy, safe and productive:

  • Occupancy motion sensor
  • Soft LED lighting
  • Quiet ventilation system
  • Comfortable modular furniture
  • Power outlets
  • USB ports
  • Ethernet ports
  • Surge protected
  • Fire code compliant
  • Eco-friendly

The Benefits of BrighterBooth

BrighterBooth is a leading a soundproof office pod manufacturer including their flagship privacy pods: Phone Booth, Meeting Pod and Conference Pod. BrighterBooth has gained a reputation for providing the highest quality customer service and office privacy pods. BrighterBooth remains a forward thinking company by adding new products like the Breastfeeding Pod.

BrighterBooth Phone Booth

This office phone booth has enough room for two people, but was specifically designed for one person to make private phone calls without disturbing the office or work alone in silence with a stool and desk.

BrighterBooth Meeting Pod

This two-person meeting pod seats two people comfortably, but up to four depending on body size. It’s great for a quick one-on-one meeting or interview, working alone in silence or making a private phone or video call. It comes with comfortable lounges and a height adjustable table.

BrighterBooth Conference Pod

This four-person conference pod is the same design as the meeting pod, just deeper to seat four people comfortably.

BrighterBooth Breastfeeding Pod

The breastfeeding pod is an all-inclusive, freestanding lactation room that gives nursing mothers a private and comfortable space to breastfeed or pump at work or in public spaces.It contains dimmable lights, a quiet ventilation system, comfortable seating, a footrest, a table, a waste bin, power outlets, USB ports, and extra space for baby gear. Read our article on how Breastfeeding Pods Support Working Mothers.

Brighter offices foster brighter ideas. Contact BrighterBooth today for a brighter solution for your workplace, employees and budget.

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breastfeeding pod lactation room
Breastfeeding Pods Support Working Mothers

BrighterBooth is excited to announce the launch of the Breastfeeding Pod, a freestanding lactation room that gives new mothers a private and comfortable space to breastfeed or pump at work or in public spaces. No more pumping in the bathroom or hiding your baby under a nursing blanket.

The Breastfeeding Pod contains amenities that breastfeeding moms need like dimmable lights, seating space, a footrest, a table, air ventilation, power outlets, USB ports, and extra space for baby gear.

Breastfeeding and pumping accommodations are lacking at work and in public spaces while working mothers are no longer an exception for new mothers, it’s the new norm. Millennial moms account for over 80% of births in the U.S., so a breastfeeding pod not only supports the current need for new moms, but also the influx of future mothers as well.

7 Facts About Working Mothers

  1. Women make up about half the U.S. workforce, and mothers are the fastest-growing segment of the workforce.
  2. More than half of mothers with infants are employed, and of these moms, almost two-thirds work full-time.
  3. In 46% of households with a mother and father, both parents are employed full time.
  4. Mothers are the primary breadwinners in 40% of families.
  5. About 25% of  mothers are raising their children on their own.
  6. 70% of  moms with kids younger than 18 were in the labor force in 2015.
  7. Annual births have increased among the foreign born.

Employers providing lactation accommodations in the workplace isn’t just good for business by increasing productivity and inclusiveness, but it’s also the law. A range of federal, state, and municipal laws require specific accommodations for breastfeeding and pumping moms at work. For example, California leads the way in breastfeeding laws.

California Breastfeeding Laws

  • Breastfeeding at Work: California law requires that all employers provide a private space to breastfeed and pump at work, provide all breastfeeding employees with break time, and stipulates that the space cannot be a bathroom.
  • Breastfeeding in Airports: California public airports are required to provide a private lactation space that is not a bathroom and beyond security points for breastfeeding mothers to pump or breastfeed.
  • Breastfeeding in Public: In California, mothers are entitled to breastfeed her child in any public area, or area where the mother and the child are authorized to be present, including county offices.
  • Breastfeeding in School: California requires California Community Colleges and the California State University system to provide private lactation rooms for breastfeeding students.

Breastfeeding Law Resources

Breastfeeding employees and new mothers shouldn’t have to ask for appropriate accommodations. The frustrating experience of the new mother making their way through the world without lactation spaces is difficult enough. Every mother has the most important job in the world, so we need to offer the provisions they need wherever they go. All moms have the right to breastfeed and deserve a dedicated space to pump.

Our goal is that mothers will have a private and comfortable space to pump or breastfeed in every environment: workplaces, airports, convention centers, stadiums, resorts, museums, libraries, shopping malls and grocery stores.

BrighterBooth offers the most affordable option for organizations to support new mothers and breastfeeding employees. If your organization needs specific needs, BrighterBooth offers customized solutions.

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privacy pod office phone booth
Natural Light: The Secret to a Happy Workplace

Access to natural light is one of the most valued attributes of a workplace. Lack of natural light in the workplace often leads to workers feeling tired or gloomy. Exposure to natural light can help improve productivity levels by as much as 20%.

If you’ve just embarked on a lavish office re-design, invested in fancy new treadmill desks and installed a gym for good measure, you may want to look away now. New research suggests that office workers actually want something far more fundamental.

Natural Light is the Most Valued Workplace Attribute

A poll of 1,614 US employees by HR advisory firm Future Workplace found that access to natural light and views of the outdoors are the top most valued attributes of the workplace environment.

The research, “The Employee Experience”, found that the absence of natural light and outdoor views can be detrimental to the workplace experience. Almost half (47%) claim they feel tired from the absence of natural light or a window at their office, while 43% report feeling “gloomy” because of the lack of light.

But this is actually nothing new. Earlier this year, BE Offices and Dr. Kerstin Sailer of Brainybirdz found that greater exposure to daylight can improve productivity by as much as 20%.

In 2017, in a Leesman study of 250,000 employees worldwide, 75.8% stated that natural light is important to them, yet only 56.9% were satisfied with the offering in their workplace.

In 2016, the Global Human Spaces Report found that natural light is the #1 desired natural element in workplace design.

In 2013, Psychology Today reported on a study titled ‘Impact of Workplace Daylight Exposure on Sleep, Physical Activity, and Quality of Life,’ and found that compared to workers in offices without windows, those with windows slept an average of 46 minutes more per night, and had better outcomes in quality of life measures.

The Benefits of Natural Light

And this graphic from Cohere, posted in 2016, captures both the benefits of natural light, and the potential consequences on mental health for those who don’t get enough of it:

office phone booth natural lighting

All of these findings show that natural light is a key component of workplace well-being. And with healthier workspace design now at the forefront of the coworking movement, operators can’t afford to let one of the most important elements of a positive workplace experience fall by the wayside.

How to Fix the Lack of Natural Light

However, lack of natural light is not an easy problem to fix. For a start, the majority of workplaces have been designed to maximize available floor space, and that means many have internal office suites without windows or views.

Even external offices with windows and large open-plan spaces can come up against a lack of natural light, for example if the space occupies a lower floor, or is based in a city centre surrounded by taller, light-blocking buildings.

Where natural light is limited and re-design can’t improve the situation — by removing walls, fitting interior glass partitions, or installing skylights — advances in lighting solutions enables spaces with low levels of natural light to be vastly improved.

In a 2018 interview with Allwork.Space, Vince Pan, founder of Boston-based Analogue Studios, discussed the “tricky” aspect of lighting and its importance in the health and well-being of office workers, which is also a key component of WELL building standards.

“Lighting is tricky because WELL requires that light be about more than just illuminating the place of work,” Pan explained. “In order to obtain the WELL certification, buildings must install lights that mimic what is going on outside.”

For WELL certification, the lighting needs to change colour and temperature, just like the natural environment throughout the day.

But for workspaces that don’t (yet) require such a complex infrastructure, low-glare LED panels and ‘daylight’ bulbs can help to mimic natural light. It’s important to consider overhead positioning and coverage to avoid shadows and glare, with task lights positioned close to desks or other work areas to provide greater illumination for focus work, where necessary.

Office Decor Matters

Choice of decor plays a role too. One pro tip is to use light, matte colours and paint finishes on walls to reduce spot glare, which also reduces dark shadows and contrast.

As Pan found out during the design process for WELL Building Standard, lighting is technically challenging to get right.

“It’s not just about a switch that can turn a light on or off. We had to work with consultants and lighting manufacturers to figure out all of the light specs and obtain a more in-depth level of understanding of how exactly these lights work.”

If your space is lacking illumination, follow Pan’s advice and consult with lighting professionals. Long days in poorly lit workspaces pose problems such as eye strain and...

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