The "Phone Room"

Here’s another office design 101 thing that I want to get out of the way: the importance of temporary private space for people stuck in open plans.

These private spaces sometimes get labeled as “phone rooms” or something similar, implying that they exist for a person to take their loud conversation away from the rest of the workers. Well, the exact opposite situation is at least as important if not more: for a person to get some quiet away from the loudness of the general office environment.

Phone room

We already know that some people need more quiet time than others. And headphones are not a substitute for quiet.

Let’s stop calling these “phone rooms” and ensure there is no judgment from anyone who matters about people using these rooms simply for quiet time.


Vicki said...

LastJob managed to make it very clear that these rooms were Not For Working by making them:
1) very small
2) no chairs
3) no electric outlet
4) dim lighting

Matt Blodgett said...


Glad this was LastJob and not CurrentJob. :)

Warren said...

we *used* to call those "offices"

I had an office at one employer - when I was interning during college. And I had a shared office with one of my on-campus jobs (ie not dedicated to be mine, but was mine when I was working).

Offices rock. Open plans, unless you're in a manufacturing environment, pretty much suck. Cubes suck slightly less - but they're kinda the bastard children of open plans and offices: good at being neither.

Vicki said...

Ah +Warren Myers, yes. I had an office at two companies. Joy. A door. Control of the overhead lighting. Walls.

You'd think these were "more cost" right? But I was there when the Facilities folks were planning to build out the new building and the cost was comparable to putting in cubicles.