a recycled meeting pod at google zurich

The interior of a reclaimed expedition igloo, used as a meeting pod at Google Zurich. (Peter Wurmli/Evolution Design)

Innovation | Technology

These 4 privacy spaces are transforming the workplace

From a cubby with a simple lounge chair and support tools for working on your own to a phone booth, privacy spaces can make a big difference in creating a happy work environment

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Some days a worker may enjoy the buzz and interaction in the workplace. But there are also times when a quiet space to collect one’s thoughts is just the ticket for a productive workday.

Organizations around the world are realizing that privacy spaces can make a big difference in creating a happy work environment. It may be a cubby with a simple lounge chair and support tools for working on your own, a phone booth, nap room, or an out-of-the-way huddle space. Some are simple, some are architectural works of art.

There are countless variations on privacy spaces that are making their way to the corporate scene. In fact, not every privacy space has to be elaborate or fully enclosed. In a pinch, one can even set up portable shielding to create small enclaves on an ad hoc basis.

Here’s a look at some of the more creative privacy spaces that are transforming the workplace experience.

Square Trade

man sitting in booth working(Bruce Damonte/Courtesy of Design Blitz)

A warm and inviting feeling using bright colours and natural light was achieved at Square Trade in San Francisco with booth-style seating, allowing employees to obtain privacy while working or conduct smaller, collaborative meetings with team members.

Google Zurich

two people working in privacy pods next to each other(Peter Wurmli/Evolution Design)

At Google Zurich’s Campus, innovative design is the way of the office space when it comes to creating unique, individual work areas. From egg-shaped conference spaces, arctic-themed domes and green-infused cubicles to curtained-off relaxation spaces and massage rooms with meeting areas, there’s a tranquil place for every kind of worker looking to hunker down to work or decompress for a few on their own.

Cisco Canada

woman working in booth next to long hallway(Courtesy of Cisco Canada)

Cisco Canada office space uses booth-style seating, similar to Square Trade’s, with crisp white walls lined with artwork, to create a warm balanced work environment allowing for privacy and collaboration at an employee’s will.


two people working in a shared pod(Courtesy of Steelcase)

The key for any open concept office design is balance, says Meg O’Neil, design manager for Steelcase in Grand Rapids. “We all came out of private offices for good reasons. When people used to work behind closed doors and in silos, innovation and collaboration were not happening.”