Brought to you by ROOM, here’s how and why their sound insulated, well-ventilated, and easy-to-move office phone booth, 2019 edition, gives the bustling and open workspace a new way of working.
Today, open office plans are the default choice for companies when it comes to workplace design as they’re often heralded as a conduit for increased collaboration and communication among employees. The adoption of the open office plan has grown significantly for this reason, in addition to the fact that they significantly reduce overhead costs. As a result, open offices are ubiquitous, creating workplace environments that are littered with a litany of issues, ranging from a lack of privacy for employees to rampant distractions and unfiltered noise in every direction.
Make Room for ROOM
Recognizing these issues and the factors that have given rise to them, ROOM enables companies to introduce a new dynamic to their work environments with the 2019 edition of its phone booth.
Sustainably built from repurposed recycled water bottles, seamless in design to focus on essential elements critical to positive user experience and flexibility to adapt to the ever-changing needs of a growing workforce, ROOM helps companies, very simply, make more room for people in the modern workplace. Each booth helps companies of any size introduce privacy into their workplace, giving employees a place to do creative, focused work in a comfortable environment, while simultaneously ensuring the company conference room remains open for actual conference demand.
What is the name of the product?
ROOM phone booth, 2019 Edition
How will the product impact workplace design?
Modern workplaces need to be flexible, agile and able to respond to the shifting needs of an organization, especially when it comes to maintaining a balanced office environment that can scale with a company’s growth over time. ROOM has reimagined the phone booth, creating a product that is seamless, sustainable and simple in order to respond to these shifting needs.
Does the product contribute to “new ways of working”?
Yes – 70% of Americans now work in open plan offices, and the reality is that they’re filled with constant noise, distraction, and disruption. In addition to a pervasive lack of privacy in open offices, a study published in the Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment, and Health found that those who work in open offices take 62% more sick days, and just three hours of steady noise in the open office causes measurable distress and decrease in motivation. Taking this one step further, in a study released by the Harvard Business School in July 2018, researchers found that open plan offices create environments where the face-to-face time between employees drops by 70%, alongside a measurable decline in productivity from participating companies.
ROOM’s own commissioned research in partnership with YouGov shows that open-plan offices are even driving some employees to quit their jobs.
ROOM solves these issues inherent to poorly implemented open plan offices by providing a versatile space designed for individual work, as well as enables companies to free up conference rooms for group-based activities, instead of having them used by a single individual to take private and personal phone calls.
Can you tell a story or give an example of how this product can be used in a project?
Since launching in May 2018, ROOM has acquired over 1,000 clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies such as JPMorgan, Chase, Google, and Nike to budding startups. Compared to traditional build-outs that require months of planning and building, ROOM booths can be assembled on site in less than an hour and transported from one floor or building to the next with ease. This gives companies of all sizes the flexibility they need to make more effective use of their office space anywhere.
ROOM sells directly to businesses online, so anyone from the CEO to the office manager can easily go on the website and place an order. This allows for a seamless and intuitive purchasing experience.
The Power of Details
What was the inspiration for this design of this product?
“Throughout my career as a designer, I’ve witnessed firsthand the power of details. Everything from the texture of the rug on the floor to the colors of the murals can impact how you experience your environment. In designing the phone booth for ROOM, I knew I wanted to bring in elements that can really create the best user experience. The booth is small enough to fit into any office but large enough for the user to feel comfortable and at ease while working. It’s sophisticated enough to add to the beauty of your interior while simple enough to blend into any office environment.
After conducting research and speaking with clients, I was able to find the perfect set of materials that are functional, durable, affordable and sustainable. Each ROOM phone booth has a 1.6” thick soundproofing material comprised of 1,088 recycled plastic bottles, as well as a magnetically-sealed plexiglass door to reduce noise by 29 decibels, containing the sound from within while blocking out noise from the outside. To ensure proper ventilation, the booth houses ceiling fans and discreet airflow inlets in its floor to make sure the booth stays cool throughout use. An overhead LED light strip strategically placed above the built-in desk minimizes glare on laptop screens.
With the 2019 edition, I wanted to focus on modern, minimalist design that blends seamlessly into any contemporary workspace. The 2019 edition comes in two exterior colors: a clean, fresh white paired with smooth oak, and a darker, more industrial color combination that blends a sleek black exterior with matching dark oak. The result is a phone booth that makes a bold statement in the office without the addition of too much noise.”
-Alejandra Albarran, Director of Design & Innovation at ROOM
What innovations, in materials or fabrication, are utilized in the manufacture of this product?
At ROOM, we approach every aspect of our business from a lens of sustainability. It’s estimated that every minute, nearly one million plastic bottles are thrown away around the world. We believe that there’s a better use for them than ending up in a landfill. Each ROOM is made with over one thousand recycled plastic bottles as soundproofing material –1,088 bottles to be exact–to keep both prices and environmental impact low.
To date, ROOM has recycled over three million plastic water bottles. We only work with factories with a focus on lean manufacturing, ensuring processes exist with partners that encourage every individual involved in the ROOM experience, from the sale to delivery, contributes to energy efficiency and waste reduction.
We ship flat across four boxes to not only ensure a simplified delivery process but so that during shipping, our products use space at full optimization. All of our packagings include icons that encourage clients to recycle packaging material post-assembly. If a client opts-in for our professional assembly service, all of ROOM’s third-party assembly vendors are instructed to remove and recycle all packaging waste.
Lastly, the 2019 edition of our booth has a motion sensor that automatically turns the light and ventilation system on and off when someone enters or exits the booth, enabling a sustainable use of energy.
Where do you think the installation of this product will be most effective?
Any open office can benefit from the ROOM phone booth. Aside from using the booth for phone calls and video conferences, we find that many of our clients use the booth to enjoy a moment for themselves during the hecticness of every day. A sort of respite, or oasis. When you’re constantly surrounded by noise, being able to find a moment of peace can really improve your workplace experience and mindset.
Our ROOM booth provides room to be yourself.
A year from now what would be the most exciting thing you could think of that would find out about how the product has been accepted, specified and installed in projects?
“Right now, the office phone booth is still a relatively new product category. But as more and more companies begin to recognize the need for dynamic work environments, I think it’s going to become increasingly common to incorporate private spaces into the open office. As a designer of workplaces, I have the responsibility to show people what the future of work can look like, and I look forward to helping companies of all sizes build a better work environment while continuing our sustainability efforts.”
-Alejandra Albarran, Director of Design & Innovation at ROOM
Buy Easy, Build Easy, Be Easy
When will the product be available?
The new edition of ROOM’s award-winning soundproof phone booth launched on 4/23/2019. ROOM has taken an innovative approach to the business-to-business industry by selling online direct to businesses. Taking out the middleman allows ROOM to offer a high-quality product at an affordable price. ROOM does have a series of relationships with qualified distributors, so whatever office design business model a company works within, ROOM can cater to its particular needs.
What do you think our readers will love about the product?
Aside from the design aspect, each ROOM booth comes with a 100-day risk-free trial, as well as a two-year limited warranty. ROOM covers the full cost of repairs or replacements needed due to manufacturing defects.
What is the expected cost of the product?
The booth is $3,495 with free shipping anywhere in the U.S. The ethernet port, compatible with phone cords, is available as an add-on for $200.
While other office phone booths can range anywhere from $6,000 to $18,000, with shipping fees running as high as $1,500, our direct-to-consumer model combined with thoughtful design allows us to keep our prices low and quality high.
Anything else notable about the product we ought to know?
ROOM serves as a truly agile, yet durable, product within workplaces, able to maintain and withstand continual use every day with industrial-grade carpet, either at its current location, or the next one. Whether switching floors or moving offices, the booth is able to sustain multiple cycles of assembly and disassembly.
Throughout the design process, ROOM worked with third-party testing agencies to validate and ensure the durability of the booth’s door, its stability against overturning and its resistance to heat and humidity. ROOM similarly conducted controlled ventilation tests, determining the booth’s ventilation system is more effective with the door closed rather than open. Additionally, ROOM worked with acoustic experts to confirm that the sound insulation of the product is in accordance with international standards.
ROOM also offers the unique opportunity to customize the booth – as seen in the limited edition collection ‘Botanical’ offering in partnership with A/D/O. Customization is an additional cost and can be discussed with ROOM representatives.
Are there any other places you plan to exhibit the product? If so where and when?
Yes, we have showrooms open in New York, San Francisco, and Berlin. You can make an appointment here: https://calendly.com/roomsupport
01- New York City
599 Broadway, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10012
02- San Francisco
149 New Montgomery St. 4th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94105
03 – Berlin
Boxhagener Str 18
10245 Berlin, Germany
Keep up with ROOM on social media!
Instagram, Facebook, Twitter: @roomnyc
Images courtesy of Room