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Acoustic booths: privacy game changers in open-plan offices

  • Posted on: 9 October 2023
  • By: Hushoffice Team

Do you have any privacy problems in your workspace? With acoustic booths, you can transform your office to maintain a healthy balance between dynamic collaboration and necessary relaxation.

Acoustic booths: privacy game changers in open-plan offices

Table of Contents

Privacy in open plan offices – tl;dr

  • Acoustic privacy refers to isolation from surrounding sounds and noises in a given environment. Visual privacy means ensuring that you’re neither observed nor distracted by other people. Architectural privacy is a feeling of being comfortably secured in a space, which makes you feel at home. All three types of privacy are crucial to ensure peace and functionality in the office.

  • When workers lack either of three essential privacy types, their wellness and productivity are negatively affected. The presence of noise may lead to mental fatigue and distraction impairing judgement and contributing to issues with the cardiovascular system and both long- and short-term memory. Without visual privacy, workers are constantly subject to a vast number of unexpected and unwanted stimuli, which may result in employee burnout. On the other hand, lack of architectural privacy may lead to anxiety issues, as employees don’t feel in control of their working space.

  • Hushoffice pods are a game changer as they ensure all three kinds of privacy. First of all, they contain noise, providing speech privacy and a sense of pleasant calmness. Additionally, they block out visual hubbub, preventing disturbances and overstimulation. Last, but not least, pods cocoon their users in a soothing, relaxing space, providing them with a degree of architectural privacy necessary for tuning in to work and maintaining focus.

Why is it so important to ensure acoustic and visual privacy in an open-plan office?

Acoustic privacy refers to isolation from surrounding sounds and noises in a given environment. In a nutshell, ambience. Visual privacy, on the other hand, ensures that you’re neither observed nor distracted by others. Both are essential for the productivity and wellness of workers in an open office.

Acoustic privacy works like a protective shield, ensuring isolation from the cacophony of background noises and conversations typically occurring in open-plan offices. It allows workers to focus on their tasks without being disturbed. Visual privacy provides teams with personal space and autonomy over their working environment by blocking out visual disturbances from the floor. Think desk partitions, privacy panels, and office pods. What’s more, visual privacy protects your work from onlookers. Both types of privacy do much more than just protecting sensitive information and intellectual property – they foster a culture of respect and professionalism

– says Eliza Donek, Product Manager, Hushoffice.
HushMeet private office booth for team meetings
HushMeet 4-person meeting cabin

In a typical open-plan office, workers are constantly in view.

Lack of adequate privacy may contribute to the so-called “fishbowl effect” – a state of increased self-consciousness and a feeling of being in a fishbowl, constantly subject to other people’s gazes. Constant surveillance may be uncomfortable, leading to the feeling of anxiety and distraction.

Lack of privacy diminishes employee productivity and wellness.

In open-plan offices, a lot of employees struggle with the sensation of being constantly monitored. If they are not provided with enough privacy necessary to carry out focused tasks, workers become excessively vigilant of their surrounding environment. This may contribute to some neurotic behaviour that negatively affects the creative workflow.

In open offices, constant pressure to appear busy may lead to an “always-on” attitude.

A sensation of being under surveillance can undermine trust. Employees may try to appear constantly busy and engaged, giving up on their regular breaks and, consequently, burning out.

Why are periodic breaks so important? Learn more: Give me a microbreak!

Excessive noise, lack of privacy, and sensory overload can ruin open-plan layouts.

A workspace with no physical barriers appears chaotic and unpredictable. Calls and casual conversations generate a hubbub that hinders effective workflow. However, the open-plan concept can still be effective by integrating acoustic call spaces, such as hushPhone and 4-person booths, such as hushMeet, which ensure the necessary privacy.

The hushPhone call booth. A refuge from office commotion. Imparts the calm needed for great client calls.

Lack of privacy is a measurable workflow disruptor. It can be mentally distressing for employees too. Although its consequences are difficult to track, it can be particularly detrimental to team morale and company profitability. When workers are intermittently subject to the office buzz and a deluge of visual distractions, they are interrupted. And this constant assault on their senses is a kind of violation hindering their ability to dive into their tasks and creative workflow. Being devoid of privacy through constant interruptions, negatively affects employee wellness, performance, and job satisfaction. With Hushoffice pods and booths, you can address these issues, and help your teams regain their autonomy

– says Eliza Donek, Product Manager, Hushoffice.

Inadequate privacy in the workspace can lead to long-term consequences.

The barrage of sounds and office buzz in a purely open layout impedes productivity. In such environments employees struggle to sift through information, which increases their stress levels.

Good acoustics is good for business.

Excessive noise leads to mental exhaustion and distraction, negatively affecting employee judgement. It may contribute to issues with the cardiovascular system and both long- and short-term memory. On the flip side, it means that impeccable office acoustics boosts employee performance and health in the long run.

Visual partitions provide protection from disturbing peripheral movement and activities.

Without structures that provide isolation from excessive stimuli, such as dividers and pods, our brains need to process a vast amount of data during each working day. This may lead to cognitive overload and problems with concentration. Instead of supporting employees, the working environment becomes a double-edged sword, undermining the key virtues of collaboration.

Are office acoustic booths a game changer in privacy management?

Hushoffice pods function as compact sanctuaries, protecting users from visual and auditory distractions. They are a haven of tranquility designed for focused work and private meetings. With their enclosed design, they reduce visual stimuli, allowing workers to dive into their tasks without being monitored. Simultaneously, the glass panels ensure a sense of natural connection with others

– adds Eliza Donek, Hushoffice.

By giving autonomy over one’s personal space and immediate working environment, premium office booths allow employees to find their peaceful workflow on the busy office floor. 

Private acoustic booths function as islands of isolation on the office floor.

Think hushHybrid – a workspace with a user-first approach. An autonomous pod within the busy open-plan workspace. A dedicated area free from auditory distractions. In a nutshell, hushHybrid is a space where efficiency and job satisfaction flourish.

HushHybrid video call for open plan office

Architectural privacy matters as well – booths can make workers feel at home.

A physically experienced phenomenon, architectural privacy is a feeling of being comfortably secured in a space, which makes you feel at home. To achieve it, structures such as partitions and work pods can be upholstered in cosy, soft materials and colours.

Minimal distractions, maximum concentration.

Shielded from the barrage of office distractions within a booth, such as hushWork, employees can regain focus. The booth provides a sanctuary for maintaining an effective, uninterrupted workflow, creating a stable environment where your mental state is respected, never violated.

Office booths send a silent “do-not-disturb” message.

When used, booths discourage colleagues from spontaneous visits, implying that the occupant’s workflow and right to privacy should be respected. Thus, booths provide both psychological and physical sanctuary where employees can focus on their tasks without being disturbed.

Acoustic booths foster individual and team privacy.

No matter whether we want to ensure individual or team privacy, booths and pods address the universal need for complete focus within an open-plan office.

In the realm of individual privacy, prioritising calls and focused work is essential.

Providing adequate space for such concentrative tasks can be really challenging in the dynamic working environment. Acoustic office booths are private havens containing speech made inside, and preventing overstimulation.

For guaranteed speech privacy, look for an acoustic phone booth that meets the Class B standard (or above) per ISO 23351-1:2020.

In the realm of team privacy, providing safe space for sensitive discussions and one-to-ones is top priority.

Such interpersonal interactions require an environment allowing for open discussions without a possibility of being overheard or eavesdropped. 2-person acoustic cabins, such as hushMeet.S, are an ideal solution to the privacy problem.

HushMeet.S meeting booth for small offices

HushMeet.L – a confidential conference room.

Accommodating eight people comfortably, hushMeet.L feels like a soundproof break room. It is a perfect solution for team discussions in a relaxed setting or classified meetings that require impeccable speech privacy.

HushMeet.L. A private office pod to talk out anything confidential. Modular, accommodating between 4-8 people depending on its module count.

HushMeet – from isolation to integration in the office.

The quiet meeting spot seating four teammates, hushMeet. With its built-in comfortable sofa, it provides long-lasting physical comfort during prolonged collaborative sessions.

HushHybrid – a synergy of privacy and convenience.

Do you need a high-quality video call space? HushHybrid comes with top-notch sound insulation, supportive furniture, easily accessible sockets, and additional video light strips ensuring perfect face illumination.

HushHybrid acoustic office booth for video calls.
HushHybrid video conferencing space

HushPhone – distraction-free phone calls.

Most people don’t feel entirely confident and at ease while taking phone calls on the open-plan floor. Regardless of whether you need it for personal or business matters, HushPhone provides a self-contained call space ideal for focused, uninterrupted calls.

Hushoffice office booths help regain privacy in open offices.

Acoustic office booths can really transform open-plan workspaces by containing noise and blocking out visual distractions. They restore acoustic and visual privacy, providing quiet focus areas, and cocooning users in a relaxing, soothing space.

Booths are miniature fortresses isolating workers from intrusions.

Hushoffice pods and booths allow you to stay calm amidst the busy office chaos. With customisable lighting and ventilation, they give workers autonomy and control over their workspace, providing a balanced working environment that fosters productivity and wellness equally. Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?

If you need more information about Hushoffice booths, contact us here!

Privacy in open plan offices – summarized

  • Acoustic privacy refers to isolation from surrounding sounds and noises in a given environment. Visual privacy means ensuring that you’re neither observed nor distracted by other people. Architectural privacy is a feeling of being comfortably secured in a space, which makes you feel at home. All three types of privacy are crucial to ensure peace and functionality in the office.

  • When workers lack either of three essential privacy types, their wellness and productivity are negatively affected. The presence of noise may lead to mental fatigue and distraction impairing judgement and contributing to issues with the cardiovascular system and both long- and short-term memory. Without visual privacy, workers are constantly subject to a vast number of unexpected and unwanted stimuli, which may result in employee burnout. On the other hand, lack of architectural privacy may lead to anxiety issues, as employees don’t feel in control of their working space.

  • Hushoffice pods are a game changer as they ensure all three kinds of privacy. First of all, they contain noise, providing speech privacy and a sense of pleasant calmness. Additionally, they block out visual hubbub, preventing disturbances and overstimulation. Last, but not least, pods cocoon their users in a soothing, relaxing space, providing them with a degree of architectural privacy necessary for tuning in to work and maintaining focus.

Privacy in open plan offices – frequently asked questions

What is a privacy booth?

 A privacy booth is a name for an acoustically-designed, self-contained office pod, booth, or cabin that provides users with all three essential types of privacy: acoustic (including speech privacy), visual and architectural.

Are office pods a worthwhile investment?

There are many reasons why pods have gained popularity as a spatial solution for open-plan offices. Firstly, they make perfect silent sanctuaries for focused tasks or private meetings. With their minimalistic aesthetics, and beautiful upholstery, pods help ward off overstimulation and burnout typical of open-plan workspaces. What’s more, they give their users a sense of control over their working space, allowing them to dive into their tasks without being interrupted. For the above-mentioned reasons, pods make a great investment.

How can I boost privacy in open-plan workspaces?

If you need more privacy in your office, invest in space dividers or sheltering systems, such as partitions and office pods.

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