In the course of an office day, there will undoubtedly be bottlenecks when multiple members of a business all need to be in separate online meetings. You can get sound-proofed booths to dot around your workspace but they seem to start from around £3,000 and questions will remain where as to where you would put them and how many you would need.
The solution may involve a short walk from the office. Flexible Workspace provider, x+why, recently started transforming its phone cubicles into Zoom Booths. In Singapore, there are a network of Switch pay-by-the-minute ‘cabins’ for online calls and web access. You find them at transport hubs, shopping centres and other public places. You can book via an app and they cost the equivalent of about £2 per hour.
Yes, you’d have to leave your office but the leg-stretch could be seen as a wellbeing benefit and no doubt the local economy would benefit as people bought coffees and other convenience purchases whilst en route.
It’ll be interesting to see which UK property providers latch onto this new strand of demand. There is plenty of uninspiring, virtually unlettable second-hand office space in London and other major cities which could be easily fitted out for this type of use. And, of course, a lot of open-plan, co-working space which is no longer seen as congenial from a health perspective might also be repurposed.
Until then, you can expect to see an increasing scramble to secure the boardroom, meeting rooms and probably even the office kitchen as Zoomers look to find a quiet spot.