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Summary:

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

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.

Read more at the official OfficePOD site and at TreeHugger’s The Home Office Shed Goes Big Business.

What do you think of the OfficePOD?

  1. This is by no means a new concept: shedworking in garden offices is taking off, particularly in the UK but also in the US. Take a look at my site http://www.shedworking.co.uk for more details (the book Shedworking: The Alternative Workplace Revolution will be published by Frances Lincoln in 2009) and the dozens of suppliers successfully offering designs in the market – shedworking offers many advantages to working from home.

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  2. Matthew Platte Monday, March 30, 2009

    As for me, totally unnecessary. But there’s this guy I often partner with on projects who would love to “go to work” in his back yard. I hesitate to show him this since he’ll no doubt whine like a baby until he gets one. ;)

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  3. Or, how about this… http://lifehacker.com/397216/backyard-shed-turned-home-office

    If you want a Do-it-yourself solution instead. :) Personally, I prefer it.

    The OfficePod is a bit too Space 1999 for me :)

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  4. @matthew – i have to admit, it seems like a pretty moronic idea…i’d rather effort and intellect went into better home design

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  5. Moronic? You just haven’t researched the subject well enough. This is not a one-off: there’s a huge – and growing – market for garden offices, particularly in the UK but also in the US (take a look at my site Shedworking http://www.shedworking.co.uk for confirmation). There are many advantages to working in the back garden – you don’t have to double up on rooms, it adds value to your property, it’s easier to prevent family/pets invading your workspace, psychologically it marks a clear difference between where you live and where you work… I could go on and on.

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  6. Why are you not putting up my comments?

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  7. @alex – WordPress was marking your comments as spam for some reason. I have approved them now.

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  8. @alex – the Shedworking concept in interesting, although this take on it seems rather expensive.

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  9. Thanks for your perspective Alex – and for introducing your blog – OfficePOD is perhaps a little pricey for what it offers.

    Sure there might be some advantages – but ‘shedworking’ isn’t a panacea and just one option for working at home. I’d like to see some more creative thinking on space design and home layouts. Though, I accept ‘sheds’ are as much part of this thinking, as extensions of a home.

    LOL, I’m not sure if anyone understands what adds value to their properties in the UK anymore – magic, financial sorcery and leprechaun juice seem to represent the best hopes for our economy :)

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  10. Tom Jefer's Son Tuesday, March 31, 2009

    Oh, good. Now we can be locked into our cubes until management decides to let us out.

    Was this inspired by a Dilbert cartoon I missed?

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