Brighter Blog

Privacy & Natural Light in the Workplace
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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office phone booth privacy pod
7 Reasons You Need An Office Phone Booth

Employees are your most valuable asset. Give them options on how and where to be productive. We are in a new era of office design. Gone are the days of sitting silent in your cubicle being judged solely on the 8 hours you put in. Now are the days of flexibility and agility where productivity and results determine your value regardless of where or how the work is done. Companies have finally realized that their employees are their most valuable asset, and are designing workplaces that reinforce happiness, health and productivity. People want to work and contribute, and adding office privacy pods to the workplace benefits employees, employers and industries as a whole.

Here are eight reasons why your company needs an office phone booth.

1. Employees can use a phone booth alone as a soundproof office space to focus on work.

Cubicles are a thing of the past, and for good reason. An office privacy pod not only fixes all the problems that cubicles created, they improve them. They’re an exponential, long term return on investment that increase sound privacy/decrease office noise, provide options on where and how to work, promote collaboration, improve employee morale, and increase productivity.

2. Employees can use a privacy pod for confidential calls.

Every organization requires a certain level of confidentiality, but confidentiality is the most important aspect of a lot of industries including tech companies, law offices, science laboratories, sales, and healthcare/medical centers.

3. Employees can use privacy pods without distracting the rest of the office.

Not only do employees need a place to focus without distraction, they also need a place where they don’t distract the entire office. Office phone booths solves both of those problems. Office noise is the leading cause of office distraction, which decreases productivity and morale of everyone affected.

4. Offices can leave the door open and use the office pod as a flexible touchdown space.

Assigned office spaces can go unused for up to half of the workday. Touchdown spaces are usually laptop centric where employees use temporarily to respond to an email, take a call or have a quick meeting.

5. Employers avoid expensive, permanent and time-consuming office construction.

Office construction is such a hassle and a risk on so many levels that no one in your company wants to deal with and take responsibility for. It’s also extremely expensive and can affect employee production for days or weeks with construction noise, if they need to be moved or if a part of the office needs to be shut down, just to name a few.

Avoid all of that mess by investing in a one-time purchase of a modular office privacy pod that doesn’t require design teams, permits, regulations, code, inspection, and on and on.

6. Office pods are modular and go wherever you company goes.

Instead of a one-time expenditure of permanent walls and fixtures, invest in a modular privacy pod that can be broken down and rebuilt wherever your company goes.

Don’t like the spot you put it? Move it to another spot. Problem Solved. The list of mistakes are virtually non-existent compared to the mistakes possible with permanent office construction.

7. Create an agile work environment with office neighborhoods or work zones.

Agile workplaces are the future. They increase collaboration and productivity, are less expensive, utilize more space, evolve with technology, and attract and retain top talent.

Activities based, or agile, workplaces make up over 25% of workplace, and will only rise as millennials take over the business landscape. In order to remain competitive in hiring and retaining top talent, you will have to evolve with what the talent pool wants. If you don’t provide something an applicant wants, they’ll find a company that does. The next wave of professionals value happiness, flexibility and a life/work (not a work/life) balance over a larger paycheck.

Enhance your workplace with Brighter Booth

The various and sweeping benefits of installing an office phone booth into your workplace is unrivaled and will be staple in the future of office design. Soon you will see every workplace have several office pods in different areas being used for different reasons.

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