Are Phone Booths Coming Back?

For Architectural Digest, by Nick Mafi. Anyone who has worked in an office can relate to the many distractions fellow colleagues can produce. From loud conversations to pungent wafts of lunch foods, coworkers are often real roadblocks to productivity (you might even be experiencing it at your desk right now). Indeed, a study from researchers […]

For Architectural Digest, by Nick Mafi.


Anyone who has worked in an office can relate to the many distractions fellow colleagues can produce. From loud conversations to pungent wafts of lunch foods, coworkers are often real roadblocks to productivity (you might even be experiencing it at your desk right now). Indeed, a study from researchers at the University of Sydney found that office noise was cited as the most frustrating aspect of the work environment by about 50 percent of employees in open offices. What’s more, Oxford Economics — an independent global advisory firm — found that 53 percent of office employees complain that workplace noise reduces their satisfaction and productivity.

It’s these findings — and working in office environments themselves — that compelled the founders of technology start-up Framery to create a device that solves this age-old problem. And ironically, the Finnish firm looked back a few decades for its solution: phone booths.


Framery’s soundproof office booths allow staff members to easily step away from their noisy, nonproductive work environment and into a serene and sleekly designed mini workspace. The booths, which resemble traditional phone booths, come equipped with a table top, an adjustable stool, an electric socket, and LED lighting. An integrated air ventilation system ensures the user will remain at a comfortable temperature even when using the booth for long periods of time. They are also available in a variety of colors and sizes; there are single-person booths or larger options that house two people at the same time. And the idea is catching on: After selling 2,800 phone booths in 2016, Framery has set a lofty goal of selling 8,000 booths in 2017.


In fact, Microsoft recently installed Framery office phone booths throughout its headquarters in Seattle. “The feedback from users has been very positive. In fact, we plan to replace one-third of traditional phone rooms with Framery booths in three new buildings in our headquarter campus in Seattle,” said Riku Pentikäinen, Microsoft’s director of Global Workplace Strategies, in a statement.

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