The top 5 things to look for in a meeting pod28 September 2022
Once you know what an acoustic pod is, it’s time to find out what you should be looking for when choosing one. If the pods you’re thinking about don’t tick all five of these boxes, it’s time to look elsewhere.
1. Excellent air quality and ventilation
Most of us have been in a bad meeting pod – you know, one where you sit feeling uncomfortable, maybe sweating or shivering and where it’s hard to concentrate and sometimes even breathe comfortably. Meeting pod ventilation doesn’t have a great reputation because virtually every solution on the market uses ventilation equipment that’s better suited to cooling down your home PC than it is to maintaining a comfortable, healthy working environment.
Air quality is something people rarely think about until it gets really bad, but it’s a huge issue. People with allergies or respiratory diseases suffer worse symptoms in environments with poor-quality air, pathogens are spread more easily, and high CO2 levels hammer everyone’s concentration into the ground, making it harder to make the right decisions – especially strategic ones.
With industrial-grade ventilation and proper CO2 monitoring, these problems become a thing of the past and your pod becomes a space that people gravitate towards rather than one they do everything they can to avoid.
2. Design flexibility
A lot of manufacturers assume they know what you need in a pod and then develop their offering around those preconceptions. The result? Inflexible solutions that make your space fit around them instead of giving you the design freedom you need to fulfil your vision. Perhaps you have a choice of just one or two options for the front and back wall – glass or no glass – giving you or your architect little control over how the pods look in the space and the view that people have from them.
These preconceptions about what you’ll use your pod for run to the interior setup too. You probably want your pods for either meetings or to use as workstations, right? So that’s what you’ll find when you start browsing – inflexible, non-modular, cookie-cutter designs with no flexibility on where cabling and other connections can be installed and which can wind up as useless assets if your needs change. And if you’re looking for solutions for an environment other than an office – say a bank, logistics center, or doctor’s consultation room – good luck finding a pod that dovetails with your requirements.
What you should be looking for is a truly modular solution that is designed for long-term use, that can be fine-tuned to fit perfectly into your space and still has the flexibility to change with your needs.
When you’re thinking about putting a pod into your space, accessibility has to be right up there at the top of your priority list. Whatever kind of space you’re designing or renovating, it’s a must that employees and visitors can get into and out of it easily and safely. And that’s whether they’re using crutches, a wheelchair, or any other kind of mobility aid.
Look closely at most pod solutions on the market and you’ll find an accessibility deal-breaker – the doorway threshold, which is typically some 10 cm high, making it a nightmare for wheelchair users in particular.
A truly accessible pod solves this problem by having a virtually non-existent threshold.
4. A long lifetime and expert care
A pod is an investment in your space that shouldn’t feel like a weight around your neck after a year or two – something you need to take constant care of, taking time and effort away from your core business. But just like a vehicle, pods need some TLC every now and then to keep them working well and looking good – and to make sure they have a long lifetime.
A responsible supplier will offer up their expert knowledge and experience to help you in the form of flexible service plans that give you peace of mind, taking care of your pods instead of leaving it all up to you or only stepping in when things go wrong. After all, would you try to service your own car, or would you leave it to the manufacturer and their team of experts?
5. Soundproofing that protects your privacy
There’s soundproofing, and then there’s soundproofing. This is an area where there should be no middle ground. When you need the genuine article, for example when the law requires that you have a space where conversations can be held confidentially – think talking about your personal finances in a bank, or discussions about employment issues at work – you can’t afford to compromise.
Many pod manufacturers offer partial soundproofing or make dubious claims about the level of soundproofing they can offer, but the reality is quite different. If you can stand anywhere within a meter of the pod and hear anything that is happening inside, the soundproofing claims aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. Likewise, whatever noise and chaos is going on outside, inside the pod should be an oasis of calm.
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