Pod Life – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Written by All Points Public Relations associate Amy Lecza.
When I was 16, I had a job working at a certain home furnishing and décor retailer, and I hated it. I hated the music (a repetitive cycle of 80s and 90s slow jams peppered with love songs from the early 2000s), I hated the menial work and, more than anything, I hated the dank, depressing break room which was our only respite from the fluorescent lights, intercom announcements and choking candle odor of the sales floor. Let’s just say that I didn’t last long as an employee.
The importance of a healthy work environment cannot be overstated – it’s the difference between looking at each day as full of potential and wishing your car would run out of gas on the way to work. After all, we spend more time at work and with our coworkers than we do with our friends and families – it’s vital to the health of the office that employees feel comfortable at work.
At All Points PR, we sit in pods. They’re a sort of mixture of cubicles and an open floor plan. A young office like All Points thrives on creativity and cooperation – take a look at the photos below and you’ll see what I’m talking about.
The pros of a seating arrangement like this are many. The openness fosters creativity and collaboration. It makes it possible to learn from others – both directly and indirectly. Teamwork is easy, and we’re able to work together on projects without needing to book a conference room. Plus, our office faces an entire wall of windows, so we always have access to natural light. We have ample desk space to accommodate the organizational systems of our choice as well as plants, which, according to Psychology Today, promote productivity, health and stress relief.
But with any set up, there are going to be drawbacks. Putting 10-15 people in the same room with relatively no barriers can make for noisy times. There is little privacy for quiet work or phone calls. And, with any job where you’re at a desk, it can be challenging to get up and move. Of course, these can all be overcome with a little creative thinking. Volume control becomes essential when so many people are on the phone simultaneously, and there are other options available, like working alone at a table in the conference room or the kitchen. And, in a pod system, chances are likely that you’ll need to work with someone in some capacity across the office. Instead of calling or emailing them, take the opportunity to get up and walk around for a few minutes – the Washington Post reports that standing more, even at a desk job, can lower the risk of obesity, illness and death.
All Points has harnessed the energy of creativity and the focus necessary to meet deadlines and work quickly with a pod system of seating. Consider your company’s goals and the work type as you make changes to your workspace – yes, it’s important to be productive, but a bit of openness can go a long way for the general morale and happiness of employees. Many All Points employees have been here for two or more years, and we’re planning to stay a while!