Last summer, we cheekily covered the Macro-1, a kind of lockable and movable cubicle for coworkers and hotdeskers.
A similar product, but perhaps stranger still, is the recently launched OfficePOD, a self-contained office space intended to create a high-quality office space for employees at home. The OfficePOD is intended to help companies minimize the need for centralized, serviced offices and for employees to have a discrete working space within their home property.
Curiously, rather than a one-off capital purchase, the OfficePOD is being made available as a managed service to employers and workers. The pod is envisaged as being situated outdoors, with electricity and connectivity piped to it from the worker’s home. With just over six 45 square feet of floor space, it’s certainly a cozy workspace!
Though an interesting piece of product design, and bearing claim to some green credentials, the OfficePOD seems to be a slight oddity, providing a solution to a problem that most telecommuters and web workers simply don’t have.
Increasingly, as families begin to accommodate multiple web workers and telecommuters within the home, house design will need to explicitly accommodate permanent working areas, rather than repurposing a dining area, spare bedroom or cramped study for work. I can’t help but think that the OfficePOD isn’t a good solution. If you have little space within the home to work, chances are your property doesn’t have a garden or yard that can accommodate a “parked office” outside!
As a design study and exploration of the changing nature of work, the OfficePOD is interesting. As an option for working from home, it’s kinda gimmicky. And at £5,000 ($7,000) per year, it’s expensive.
Other companies, such as IKEA, are probably providing more practical workspace solutions. Personally, I have a VIKA OLEBY tabletop and a couple office chairs at home (less than £150!) that provide me a with a ton of space for a pair of laptop users to work together.
What do you think of the OfficePOD?