In the 20th century, telephone booths were relatively common on street corners and in small businesses. However, as time passed, they became less popular. Phone booths have now been mostly replaced by other devices such as the telephone jack at home or office, cordless landline phones, and cellphones.
Most offices have a problem with noise — it’s one of the most pernicious problems in office work. This is why some designers are turning to old-fashioned TalkBox phone booths. There are many benefits, including providing an area where employees can comfortably talk on the phone or take care of other tasks that require privacy, like discussing sensitive financial information or having conversations about personal matters.
Effects of Noise in the Work Environment
Work can be a stressful place, with lots of distractions. And sometimes, employees need to concentrate on their tasks without any interruptions to help them stay focused. However, there is one form of disturbing noise that can interfere with the ability to focus during work hours and also make it difficult for other people in the office: Phone-related noise.
Oftentimes, a phone is used in the workplace to take calls, conduct business, and maintain contact with customers. The problem arises when this device becomes too noisy–either because of a ringtone or notifications or because of the person’s voice talking on the phone. Not only can this noise be distracting in general, but there have been studies that show that increased noise levels can cause health problems such as stress and hypertension.
The Rise in Popularity of Phone Booths
These quaint relics have returned in response to the modern office’s need for privacy, and they provide a much-needed respite from the constant chatter, near-constant ringing, and distractions of an open office. Office phone booths are becoming a common sight in many offices today, with their popularity increasing rapidly over the last few years.
However, in today’s increasingly open office, they have found an entirely new role: providing focused concentration in an otherwise distracting environment.
Phone booths are available in two main styles: solitary and communal. Both can provide employees space for privacy.
Solitary Phone Booths
Solitary phone booths provide privacy for one individual at a time. They can be used at a desk or table, and they are often placed near a single office door. They allow employees to hear each other when necessary but still provide the privacy they need to have a private phone conversation. Since they only fit one person at a time, usage is usually limited to some periods of the day: between meetings and when away from their desks.
Communal Office Phone Booths
If you find yourself sharing a small space with others in your office, there are communal phone booths available as well. These booths are more reminiscent of early payphones, with their large, rounded enclosures. These booths can hold multiple people at once, allowing privacy for all while still giving everyone the ability to talk into their phones without the fear of being overheard.
The Benefits of Office Phone Booths
Office phone booths provide privacy. Privacy is paramount in the modern office environment. This is especially the case when employees are talking about sensitive topics. For example, it’s probably not a great idea for an employee to speak loudly about his financial troubles at work when sales figures are down, and layoffs are inevitable.
Employees can use office phone booths to talk privately about personal or financial matters, like household budgeting or planning for retirement. Office phone booths also make it easier for employees to find a quiet place to talk on the phone. Many offices have open floor plans, which means few private nooks where employees can take their calls.
Office Phone Booth Ideas
Office phone booths are an interesting idea for open offices where employees must share a large, noisy space. When you look at a building or renovating an office, think about installing some office phone booths in your open office. Most companies will have shared break rooms with snack machines and tables that people can use to eat during their breaks. The table part of the break room can be easily converted into an office phone booth.
The breakroom table is large enough for one person to sit down in, and it holds a phone and small items like a pad of paper and pen. People can use the break room table as an office phone booth whenever they want a little peace and quiet during their workday.
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