The open office concept, designed to foster more communication and collaboration, has resulted in some unintended business consequences. A recent Queensland University of Technology study illustrated that 90% of employees working in an open floor plan environment experience more distractions and interruptions, leading to stress, more conflict, and higher turnover rates.
These issues have spawned a new industry, the office privacy pod business. These pods include phone pods for a single user, medium-sized pods for two to three people, and larger units that accommodate up to six. Most privacy booths have integrated lighting, air circulation, and a user power. With these privacy pods, there is no need for building permits or expensive trades for construction.
Importance of UL Listing on Office Privacy Phone Booths and Meeting Pods
In this article, we’ll delve into a subject the consumer rarely considers, the safety certification process. When dealing with lighting or other electrical components, it’s essential to be sure the product has been third-party tested for compliance with published industry standards for consumer safety.
As consumers, we typically aren’t aware of this safety certification. When you hire a licensed contractor for a construction project, they ensure all electrical components used are certified. The consumer electronic products we purchase (toasters and tvs) are all certified, but that’s not always the case in contract furniture.
For the office privacy phone booths, with their integrated lighting, air circulation, and power source, safety certification is a crucial element. Several companies provide these certifications, including:
- Underwriter’s Laboratories (UL) a third-party, not-for-profit organization. UL has been testing and approving products for consumer safety since 1894.
- ETL/Intertek, Electrical Testing Labs, a Nationally Recognized Testing Lab, founded by Thomas Alva Edison in 1896.
- CSA the “Canadian Standards Association.”
A safety certification ensures that wire sizes are correct, devices can handle the appropriate amount of current, and products are constructed correctly to provide safe function. These are important considerations for the coworking phone booths. Some office pod companies have certifications for only a portion of their line, or only individual components (power, USB modules, lights, or fans) within their pods. Better companies have a listing on all their pods and booths. Best-in-class providers have all components listed as an entire unit. This can become a game-changer when dealing with electrical or municipal inspectors.
All Oasis Berco Booths & Pods are UL Listed
Companies contemplating pods as a method to provide employees with a bit of privacy and tranquility should be aware of the need for safety certifications and how listings are applied for each booth or meeting room. Safety is every bit as important a consideration as price during the due diligence process.
Every Oasis Berco standard unit, whether it’s an Office Phone Booth, Acoustic Meeting Pod, or a collaborative Team Booth, is listed with ETL Intertek to conform to UL STD 962. Quarterly inspections and audits ensure that the products maintain their safety certification. Contact us to see our documentation or get more information on our Oasis Linear and Oasis Soft lines.