Cos installing British-design phone booths in offices to allow employees some privacy while making video or phone calls
Many Indian startups opted out of cubicles and cabins for an open plan, but the good old phone booth is making its way in.Companies like Zomato, StoryXpress and even coworking spaces such as InvestoPad have installed British-design phone booths in their offices to allow employees some privacy while making video or phone calls. Uber, Zostel and Myntra have sleep pods and bunk beds.
“We have an open work environment and there’s no concept of cabins or even fixed desks,“ said a Zomato spokeswoman. “Thus, soundproof telephone booths allows our folks to take calls with minimum disruption. A lot of collaborative work happens across time zones and it’s important that calls can be taken privately.“
Zomato, which operates in 22 countries, has installed 16 booths at its global headquarters in Gurgaon.
The new way of connecting employees in the age of BYOD (bring your own device) has come a long way from the time of wired tele phone booths, the first of which was installed in 1903 in London by the Grand Central Railway. But while startups have sought to break down barriers with open office plans, globally companies are increasingly realising the need for an element of privacy in the workplace.
A few miles away from the Zoma to office, Google India has put up five phone booths at its local headquarters. “We have about five custom designed booths which are not the typical British design ones,“ said a Google India spokesperson.A typical British type phone booth costs `. 21,000 in India. Custom designer booths are costlier.
Sleep pods, too, have become an essential fixture at startup offices, where employees often slog nights to get that new update to the mobile app launched within deadline.“We are designing the new Housing office in Mumbai, which had a very specific request for private pods for 10 people. We have designed a pod which has a bed on top of it. One can work on it and relax or nap on top of it,“ said Abhigyan Neogi, principal architect at Chromed Design Studio, Delhi.
Neogi has also designed private pods for Uber’s office in Delhi for employees to nap or play video games. The cost of private glassbased pods can go up to ` . 1.60 lakh each.
Delhi-based Zostel has installed a sleep room inside its office with bunk beds. And Myntra’s office in Bengaluru has thinking spaces and relaxation rooms for a quick nap on the go.
“The cubicle culture was more a Japanese concept as they respected hierarchies. Breaking barriers works in a design or tech-related teams, which require more collaboration,“ said Richa Singh of Kuvio Design Studio.
Source: The Economic Times