Pods are a hot product right, and with good reason; their versatility means they can be the perfect addition to the workplace.

There are a wide variety of pods on the market and while it makes a lot of sense to use them in your office, it will be a big investment. Therefore, it is essential that you purchase the pod or pods that are right for you.

Rainbow have been supplying pods for many years and we know how to help companies make the ideal choice for their needs. So, if this is something you are thinking of purchasing, please speak to us and we will be happy to help.

In the meantime, if you want to do some research for yourself, please read through the points below as we are sure you will find them useful.

Office Pods

A pod is a fully enclosed, free-standing room that is completely relocatable.

They vary in size from a single person phone booth, where someone can go to make a phone or video call, all the way up to a large pod, which can be used as a meeting space, collaboration space or even an office for several people (depending on its size).

The fact that they are fully enclosed means it is possible to have confidential conversations and meetings, without the worry of being overheard.

All Pods generally have their own lighting, power and air recirculation systems as standard, that are normally powered by a simple single 3 pin plug. There are additional features available too, such as white boards, air conditioning, opening ceilings, monitor brackets and sophisticated lighting controls, but these vary between manufacturers.

One of the most important things about pods is their versatility. They are installed once a new workspace has been completed, or into any existing workplace and do not interfere with the infrastructure of a building at all. This means they are classed as furniture and in most instances, building regulations are not required and neither will fire regulations be affected.

This makes them the simplest way for companies to increase meeting spaces and places for people to make voice and video calls.

At Rainbow we have tried to simplify the pod options by categorising them into two brackets. Small Pods and Large Pods.

Pods have been around for many years now and sales have been steadily increasing over that time. However, the demand for pods over the past 12 months has been incredible.

The reason for this is that the benefits provided by the pods are increasingly relevant for today’s rapidly changing workplaces and with hybrid working looking like the way forward for many,  companies have had to revaluate their offices.

The general consensus is that they will be more social, more collaborative, and nicer places to be; essentially a destination where people enjoy visiting and their different work needs are catered for. Also, as more people come into the workplace for meetings, further meeting spaces will be needed. Even before lockdown, a lot of companies regularly had a shortage of meeting rooms available, so the problem will only get exacerbated now. And with an increase in hybrid working , video calls will remain as much a part of working life as conventional meetings.

In the past, companies would build partitioned rooms to cater for these requirements and often, this could be less expensive. However, as companies are not sure what the workplace will look like, they are preferring to buy pods rather than build rooms.

Like partitioned rooms, the larger Pods can be used for different tasks, but they can also be relocated relatively easily if needed, offering total flexibility. Small pods can also have built-in wheels allowing them to be moved with ease.

The design of the small pods in particular is very clever as they manage to pack a lot in, and still provide a space that is comfortable. This means that people on video calls now only need a small space; before lockdown, companies often found one person on a video call taking up a large meeting room designed for 10 or more users, making it a complete waste of space.

Overall, the efficiency of pods is extremely attractive to companies as their versatility and space-saving design give people the option of relocating them if necessary and with little inconvenience. In the current climate, this is a perfect solution for many as no one can be completely sure how their office will need to change going forward.

All of the above are the reasons why pods are proving to be more popular now than ever before

  • Versatile
  • Relocatable
  • Excellent use of space
  • Comfortable
  • Confidential
  • Straightforward purchase
  • Installed straight into the office
  • Rarely needs involvement with building regulations or fire officer

Purpose – This is the most important thing to consider before you even start looking for a pod.

  • What do you need the pod(s) for?
  • What are you missing, which has made you consider a pod?
  • Is it for phone or video calls?
  • Do you need more meeting spaces?
  • If so, how many people are in these meetings?
  • Do you need more formal meeting rooms?
  • Would you prefer more relaxed meetings?
  • Do you need more presentation space?

It is questions like these that will determine the type and size of pod you should invest in.

Have a close look at what is missing or what you need more of in your workplace and once you have established what that is, then you will be able to make the correct choice of pod.

Please remember, if you are looking for total flexibility, then the larger the pod, the more versatility you will have. However, if you are simply in need of more space for people to video call in, then large pods  won’t be necessary.

All in all, the purpose behind the decision needs to be the most important factor you consider.

Design – will the look of the pod influence your decision?

  • Will a simple box design be enough?
  • Does the pod need to blend in with the look and feel of the office?
  • Are you looking for something that will ‘wow’ visitors or those who will be using it?
  • Are you looking for something simple, but that will serve its purpose effectively?
  • Is the look and feel of the pod important to you?

Smarter designs can be more expensive, so it’s a very worthwhile consideration.

Functions – what functions or requirements do you need the pod to provide?

  • Will you need to use a whiteboard in the pod?
  • Do you need the lights to dim?
  • Do you want to let air into the space whilst a meeting is taking place?
  • Do you need to hang a screen in the pod?
  • How many people will need to be on a video call?
  • Does it need to have air conditioning independent of the office?

All of these questions and others will impact the pod you select, so think carefully about what tasks it will be used for.

Acoustics – This can have a big impact on the pod you select

  • How confidential are the meetings going to be?
  • How noisy is the area in which they are to be installed?

Both factors will affect the acoustic quality you require and generally, the better the acoustics, the more expensive the pod.

Ironically, the noisier the office in which they are to be placed, the lower the acoustic requirement may be. If it is noisy outside the pod, then you will not hear what is being said inside, but the quieter the space outside, the more you will hear.

Access – the needs of everyone using the pod should be considered but also those who may use the pod in future.

  • Do you need to get a wheelchair into the pod?
  • Does anyone who struggles with their mobility need to use the pod?

Consider this carefully because you do not want to restrict the use to certain members of staff or visitors.

Relocation – Pods can be relocated, so this is one of the major advantages over building an office. However, you do need to decide how often you think the pod will need to be relocated.

If it is something that will happen on a regular basis, then a small pod may be more suitable as the majority of these can be relocated very easily.

If changes will be rare, then large pods might be a better choice. They have more versatility than smaller pods, and by changing the furniture within them they can have a completely different look and feel.

They are also fully relocatable, but do require experts to move them.  Rainbow can arrange for fitters to move these for a fee.

Price – Pods are an excellent solution for companies, but sometimes budgets can be tight.

  • Do you need pods but don’t have the budget?
  • Will price be the driver?

We have pods at various price points, but as with everything, you get what you pay for.

If you need a pod that provides a comfortable space with all the functions needed for people to perform their task, you should try and purchase a higher spec product; it will work out better in the long run as people will enjoy using it more.

At Rainbow we also lease Pods, which overcomes the initial outlay costs, and the payments can then be budgeted for each month. This means a pod can be purchased for a minimal monthly payment and the difference between a basic pod compared to a higher specification model becomes very small.

Warranty – the higher the quality of the pod the higher the quality of the warranty.

Entry level pods come with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty whereas higher specification models come with a 5-year warranty – this covers any faulty workmanship or materials.

Rainbow will be pleased to look at these in detail with you.

Lead Time – How quickly do you need the pods?

We have a small selection of pods available from stock to help clients looking for an immediate delivery. However, as with all furniture purchases, we encourage clients to wait for their ideal pod rather than rush to buy something because it is available quickly.

You will be using the pods for many years, so selecting the ideal pod is the most sensible approach, otherwise you may be using a pod that does not deliver what you need.

If you can wait 8 weeks, you will have a much larger selection of pods to choose from.

Location – once you have established your pod’s purpose and chosen one (or more), the final piece of the jigsaw is where you locate it in your workplace.

The pod can be a success or a failure depending on where it is placed, but Rainbow can help you find the ideal location.

  • You need to select a position which is the most practical for the people needing to use the pod.
  • Do not position it in a space that is out of the way as people may choose to find somewhere else to make their calls or have their meetings, which will subsequently disrupt others in the office.
  • Choose somewhere that is not too hot and not too cold – next to radiators/in direct sunlight, or in a draughty corridor/by a door, will make the pod undesirable.
  • Do not place it somewhere that is too noisy or too quiet.

These are just some of the things that need to be considered.

Please remember that pods can be moved if they are not working for you, but it is more convenient to get the location correct from the outset. Choosing the perfect place means that people will make use of it and will be a great success.

Small Pods

The main criteria of a small pod is that they are no larger than a small four person meeting pod and that they are very easy to relocate.

The majority of our small pod products include wheels that are built into its structure, which can be lowered when needed in order to push the pod around the floorspace should you need to relocate it.

There are four main types of small office pods as follows;

Large Pods

Large pods offer the same benefits as the small pods, although they need to be dismantled and reassembled to move. However, they can still be installed into an existing workspace or once a new one has been completed, as with furniture.

Larger pods are a lot more versatile than their smaller counterparts because they are, in effect, a room. How that room is used is dependent on the pod’s size and the furniture inside. The ‘room’ can therefore be altered as often as necessary throughout its life. By simply modifying the furniture, you can completely change its look, feel, and purpose.

It may start off as a formal meeting room with conference table and chairs, change to a private office, and then into a very informal space or presentation area; it may even be in a different part of the office.

Additionally, there are many different designs available and this may be the influencing factor for you.

The simplest version of a larger pod would be taking a small pod and extending it.

Some manufacturers have enabled their smaller pods to be linked together, thereby creating a larger space. This option can be effective but the rooms will only ever be as wide as the standard pod size.

large office pod
An example of this type of pod.

The next option would be to purchase a large pod system. This is where the designs can vary a lot. There are many manufacturers offering different designs from sleek yet very smart options, such as infinity, below.

office pods and booths more design led products such as Campers and Dens. These have an array of sizes to choose from and also a large amount of exterior design additions including the wood detail shown below. It also has a unique side extension on the range which creates an additional space outside of the pod that can be configured in many different ways.

office work pods

All of the above options for larger pods come in predetermined sizes, which cannot be altered once the pod has been purchased. This works for most companies, and they make the decision on the overall size from the outset, taking into account how they see the office changing over the coming years.

However, there is another type of pod design which is totally flexible because you can completely change its size if you need to.

These generally offer the highest acoustic benefits because they are based on an office partitioning system rather than furniture.

The products are therefore completely versatile, so many aspects of them can be altered; glazed panels can be changed to solid, the location of the lighting and air recirculating units can be moved, you can have single glazed panels or double glazed, and panels can be added to make the pods larger, or removed to make them smaller.

large and small office pods

They generally look more corporate, but the quality is excellent. Noox is a great example of this type of large pod system.

Total flexibility is the real benefit of the large Pods.

As you can see, there are a wide variety of pod types and designs to choose from. Rainbow understand the market completely and can help you select the ideal one for your office.

Please feel free to contact us if you would like to know more.

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