Can you hear me now? No? Good! That’s the magic of the modern office phone booth, saving your ears (and sanity) one call at a time!
The modern workplace is evolving, and one of the most significant trends of 2023 is the office phone booth, found on almost every stall at the Orgatec trade fair in Fall 2022. Once a common sight on the streets, phone booths have found a new purpose within office environments.
A phone booth is a small enclosed space designed to provide privacy for individuals making phone calls or participating in video conferences. These booths offer employees a quiet, dedicated area to conduct private calls, remote meetings, or focus on tasks without being disturbed by surrounding noise. Office phone booths typically feature soundproofing, ventilation, and lighting to ensure a comfortable and functional user experience.
Why are we seeing so many of them? Because of the biggest problem employees have returning to the office.
The biggest problem with open offices is excessive noise.
In a workplace survey conducted in 2019, 65% of respondents admitted that noise affects their efficiency. The constant chatter from phone calls and conversations between colleagues disturbs their concentration. And open plan offices are hard to get away from these days.
The phone booth solves this problem. You can be part of the open-plan space, while still having access to the focus and privacy you need at various points of your day.
That is why the call booth is becoming a piece of furniture that cannot be done without a progressive office that takes into account the needs of employees.
But, with so many options pouring onto the market, how do you choose the perfect phone booth for you? There are 4 aspects you need to pay attention to when making your phone booth choice:
Db measurement for phone booths is regulated by the new ISO Standard, ISO 23351-1 To fulfill its purpose, the phone booth should be at least class A on this scale.
Soundproofing tackles both low-frequency and high-frequency sounds, with the effectiveness depending on the materials used and their combination.
High-quality phone booths use special sound-insulating materials, including glass with acoustic properties. The weight and size of a booth are also important factors in soundproofing; generally, heavier and larger booths provide better sound insulation. This is because mass-giving materials contribute to the overall effectiveness of the booth’s soundproofing.
There are different types of glass available for phone booths, each with its own soundproofing qualities.
A well-designed phone booth ensures soundproofing works from the inside out, so that speech inside the booth doesn’t disturb others in the office. The person inside the booth should still be able to hear essential sounds, like fire alarms or warnings, for safety reasons.
The shape of the booth also contributes to dampening sound. For instance, Intuit’s Booth is uniquely trapezoidal, which hinders the smooth linear movement of sound waves.
It’s worth noting that a phone booth can also improve the general acoustics of the room, especially if its outer walls are covered with sound-absorbing materials. This helps to reduce echoes and distractions in the office, ultimately boosting the productivity of all your employees!
You need a blend of professional acoustic materials to strike a balance between performance and affordability. But it also makes a difference for user experience.
You can easily overdo it with acoustic materials, resulting in an unpleasant and pressurized feel. High-quality booths have found the right balance of materials, setting them apart from lower-budget options. Meaning you can stay in the booth for as long as you want.
Unless you’re creating a professional radio studio, too much soundproofing isn’t always a good thing. For example, a sound resistance of 40-45dB can make the inside of the booth feel oppressive. Our brains are built to be aware of our surroundings, which is why headphones are used in studios to help people cope with sound-absorbing environments for long periods.
But, too little sound resistance is also a problem. Noisy booths aren’t suitable for those users who need more quiet, or those in search of a space for a confidential conversation.
Here are the things you should keep in mind when choosing your phone booth:
As we all become more aware of the impact office work has on our health, lighting will play a big part in making a phone booth a comfortable and productive environment for your employees. No one wants to be trapped in a dark box. Consider:
If you’re investing money in phone booths for your office, then you want your employees to use them. A quality user experience is what sets quality phone booths apart from the rest.
You can buy a melamine-covered booth for as little as €2,650. But it wouldn’t do you any good. At that price, there’s no way you are getting the quality and quantity of materials needed to make the booth effective.
On the other end of the spectrum, the more expensive booths are priced at around €15,000.
A mid-range option is around €8,000-€9,000.
At this price level, a phone booth is an optimal and functional solution, providing a good balance of quality and cost.
Investing in a high-quality office phone booth can significantly improve your workspace. As employees struggle to re-acclimatize to noisy open-plan offices, providing a private and comfortable place for them can improve productivity and morale.
Keeping all of this in mind, we’ve designed the Intuit Booth. To learn more about Booth’s innovative design, . Or see it for yourself at the Softrend office showroom located on the 3rd floor of Rocca Ärimaja, Paldiski mnt 96.