From cubicles to pods: how modern offices have evolved

Written by: Wade Larkin | Manager, NPS Commercial furniture | April 1, 2020

By now, most businesses have disassembled the cubicles to make way for open-plan workplaces. In this era of the open office, the modern employee requires a variety of workspaces for optimal efficiency and overall job satisfaction. One recent study on work productivity found that workers need office environments that stimulate openness, creativity and collaboration, in addition to quiet spaces for focussed tasks. In other words, space for both collaboration and concentration is the key to success.


“Fortunately, there are many state-of-the-art commercial furniture solutions on offer to help you set up your work atmosphere for peak productivity.”


With open plan offices leaving us, well, open to various distractions such as noise, not-so-private phone calls and the general hustle and bustle of people flow in offices, it can at times be difficult to concentrate on your work.

According to the University of Sydney, more than 50% of people have a hard time concentrating in an open plan office. Some research suggests that we need 18 minutes of concentrated workflow or deep work to truly be effective. But, according to University of California, it takes 20 minutes to regain your focus after a small distraction.

Of course, some workers thrive in an open plan setting, feeding off the energy of the room, basking in the freedom to have spontaneous discussion with colleagues. For others, they are 15% less productive working in an open plan office (according to BBC Capital) when they don’t have dedicated quiet spaces. 

Fortunately, there are many state-of-the-art commercial furniture solutions on offer to help you set up your work atmosphere for peak productivity. One such solution is a Framery acoustic pod. These ingenious soundproof products create the perfect place for meetings, brainstorming and private conversations while decreasing the distraction of conversational noise in an open plan space.


Modern solutions to open plan workplaces

Framery pods help to create different zones within the office environment based on the needs of various activities. Depending on the requirements of your workplace there are several Framery pod sizes to suit. The phone booth (space for one person), a small meeting room (1-4 people), or a full-size meeting room (space for 4-6 people). 

Phone booths and small meeting pods are designed for employees to make phone calls or participate in video conferences, giving them privacy while also protecting their colleagues from distractions. Larger meeting pods are a good place for confidential meetings, brainstorming sessions and important one-on-one discussions without disturbing the whole office – or the office being a disruption.


Optimising Space

According to a 2018 Rapal Study, 80% of meetings today involve 1-4 people. However, most boardrooms where these meetings take place are standard-sized, designed to fit 12 people. The wasted space is significant. Within the same area, you could put two, maybe three, meeting pods, which allows team members access to more meeting spaces.

The beauty of a pod is its ability to be relocated easily within an office, the choice of three sizes, and the pods’ small footprint when it comes to maximising your floorspace.

Looking to metro markets, we can see another novel way in which pods are being used to benefit businesses. In a Sydney case study, a three-person business rented two pods – a phone booth and a meeting room – as their ‘fit out’. They didn’t need to construct a single thing. When it came to making good on their lease, they simply took their pods with them.


International Commercial Furniture Available in North Queensland

The commercial furniture industry has undergone great innovation in recent years to deliver solutions for issues created by open plan workspaces. While NPS Commercial Furniture has been in business for the past 35 years, it’s really in the past 18 months that we’ve opened up a world of quality commercial furniture options to regional Queensland such as the Framery pods.

In Townsville, we have recently installed three Framery units for a CBD business, with two more heading to another later this month. We’re also working with larger businesses to determine how they can best use their open floor space for future productivity.

NPS Commercial Furniture services an expansive region, from Rockhampton to Cairns, as the exclusive agents for brands like Framery and many other high-end international furniture brands including +Halle, Herman Miller, Lintex and Martela.


Buy or rent

Framery pods are available for outright purchase, or up to a five-year lease agreement, just as you would enter for, say, a photocopier. When you get to your final payment you can make payment and keep your pod, or upgrade and enter a new lease agreement.

For information on Framery acoustic pods or other commercial furniture solutions, contact NPS Commercial Furniture.

Success North Queensland