Stress in the Workplace Has a Price Tag
How to Decompress…
While Still at the Office!
The industry has come a long way from the original public phone booth design and we’ve watched it completely transform into what is now known as an acoustic solution for the open office floor plan. Here at Framery, we took our product research even further in 2019.
We teamed up with Firstbeat, a leading provider of physiological analytics for wellbeing and sports, in an effort to better understand how a disruptive workplace can cause spikes in employee stress, burnout, and ultimately, turnover. Using Firstbeat technology’s heart rate variability (HRV)-based analytics, our team measured the physiological reaction users had in relation to the privacy pods.
“The results of the study show that 41% of office workers had moments of relaxation during the work day after having rested in the pod, and 35% felt more energized after they had conducted work inside a pod.”
The results showed that employees who worked and/or took breaks in the pods had considerably more physiological recovery throughout the day, and lower levels of stress intensity.
THE FULL BREAKDOWN
Advanced performance analytics were used to monitor the stress and recovery of 54 office workers over the course of three days, two of which were workdays.Firstbeat’s wearable device detects heart rate variability, and therefore was able to track stress levels and periods of recovery while employees slept, worked within pods, worked outside of pods, took breaks, and went on with their normal daily activities. As background, stress reaction can be assessed from the arousal of the autonomic nervous system. This manifests in many ways such as, stress hormone cortisol secretion activation, heartbeat and sweaty palms, and can be recognized by monitoring the variation in the time interval between consecutive heartbeats in milliseconds (HRV).
In this study, it was empirically demonstrated that pods mitigate employee stress – meaning there could be long term business benefits, including increased retention rates and boosted morale. The study shows that 41% of all the breaks employees took in the pods resulted in moments of relaxation and psychological recovery during the work day. Similarly, 35% of employees that registered they were working in the pod felt they had a level of psychological recovery as well, and were less impacted by stress.
PODS IN ACTION
As the consulting department for architecture and workplace design of the real estate consultancy Colliers, we regularly encounter customers’ questions about acoustic pod solutions – which is how and why, the brand first got connected with Framery.
“We came across Framery online and shortly after checked them out at an exhibition – we thought the pods were really cool because of the design and color offerings,” says Nina Breuer, Associate Director at Colliers. “We found the pod’s functionality to be innovative and impressive.”
After purchasing Framery pods, the Colliers team was very pleased with how the product additions enhanced their office – evident by the pods being in constant use. Colliers’ office-wide favorite? The Framery O phone booth! Employees routinely find themselves making calls throughout the day, resulting in the need for a soundproof phone booth. Colliers’ staff find it easier now to get away from their workstations and hop into a Framery O to take a quick call.
Equipped with three Framery pods and considering adding more, Colliers is the owner of two Framery O office pods and one Framery Q. The Framery Q is located right next to a window – a strategic placement made with a goal to let natural sunlight in, something that would’ve been difficult had the team placed other products or furniture in place of the pod.
“Framery pods are very popular in our office and even the workers in other Colliers departments come to our office to use the pods as a place to momentarily escape or have a private phone conversation or team meeting,”
“Framery pods are very popular in our office and even the workers in other Colliers departments come to our office to use the pods as a place to momentarily escape or have a private phone conversation or team meeting,” Nina adds. “The Framery pods have absolutely increased employee satisfaction. The noise has decreased throughout the office, and those using the pods don’t have to be afraid they’re too loud or that someone is listening to what they’re talking about.”
Nina adds, “What I always tell our customers when they are visiting our office, is that oftentimes clients are afraid of open office concepts because they assume it’ll be too loud and employees won’t be able to concentrate. When the reality is that our customers who have cubicles or single-work rooms still have difficulty navigating the interruptions and distractions around them. At Colliers, we don’t have those problems because we have concepts and products like Framery pods available to our employees.”
“The Framery pods have absolutely increased employee satisfaction. The noise has decreased throughout the office, and those using the pods don’t have to be afraid they’re too loud or that someone is listening to what they’re talking about.”
Nina continues, “As an example, when my colleague is sitting in a Framery pod, I know not to go disturb him because it would take him a long time to regain that same focus he currently has. It’s this type of situation that we help our clients explore, we simply explain to them: set up rules, follow them, and the open office floor plan works!”
Reference; Colliers International; Frankfurt; Germany; for Framery Patamäenkatu 7, 33900 Tampere, FIN