The FocusPod is a sustainable workplace, designed for efficient and concentrated work. Using acoustics, lighting, and adjustability, Jaap Hoens developed this furniture. FocusPod originated from Dutch Deco in Eindhoven.
A 2019 survey on workspaces by International Workplace Group shows that 80% of those surveyed prefer a job where flexible working is possible. Flexible working is relevant for both employer and employee. The Corona crisis has only increased this need. But because a lot of distractions can arise in the spaces where you work flexibly, the desire for flexible working does not always appear to be feasible in daily practice.
FocusPod founder Jaap Hoens now has a solution for that: a place where you can always work and be totally focused. “Not a place like the dining table, where I can work with my laptop during the day and still sit in the same environment while eating. With the FocusPod, we want to create a mental distance between work and private life,” explains Hoens. Another reason for the creation of the FocusPod is, according to the founder, a lack of optimal use of the spaces intended for flex workers.
For employer and employee
The FocusPod can be used both at home and in the office, says Hoens. “The FocusPod was not developed for a specific location. The definition of flex-working is that you can work anytime, anywhere. This workplace is specially designed for flex workers. So where a person wants to use the FocusPod, in a hotel lobby or in a coffee bar, at the office, or at home, he or she can decide for themselves. That’s why we want to sell the FocusPod to both employers and employees. But we mainly approach large companies because they will purchase the FocusPod in larger numbers.
But why isn’t it ideal to work with headphones on in your bedroom? “Because, first of all, a lot of people don’t like to look at their work stuff while they’re not at work. Then, there is no mental distance between work and private life. Secondly, you can also be visually distracted by working in a private sphere. By the way, I always recommend headphones, because you can cut yourself off from the sound from outside.”
The FocusPod is not only useful for the flex workers themselves, but also for their immediate environment, says Hoens. “For others around you, the sound you make during an online meeting, for example, can always be heard well. People can be disturbed by this and with the FocusPod we have solved this, just like the visual distraction.”
In order to increase the mental distance between work and private life, Hoens is working on a new variant of the FocusPod, in which the complete hiding of the workplace is possible. He doesn’t want to say any more about this new variant yet.
The design looks friendly thanks to its organic shape, but also due to the use of the soft material. “The PET felt ensures that sound from the outside is absorbed. For example, if you have a video call while sitting in the FocusPod, the PET felt ensures that most of the sound remains within the FocusPod and hardly escapes to the outside world. The dimmable lighting should provide a pleasant contrast between the screen and the inside of the FocusPod. “You are not visually and acoustically distracted.”
With the adjustable height of the worktop, Hoens tries to customize the workplace for the user. The heights are based on guidelines of the health and safety law. “In this way, we want to prevent back and neck complaints among the users of the product.”
The bigger part of the PET felt in the FocusPod is made from 288 recycled plastic bottles. The other material in the FocusPod is remelted steel. According to Hoens, both materials can be recycled again. The steel can be completely remelted and the PET felt can be shredded and then used as insulation material.
The founder expects that most interest in the FocusPod will come from schools, banks, hotels, and libraries. “Because these companies often have the space to place it”. For the time being Hoens will keep his focus on the Dutch market, although his ultimate goal is to approach other countries as well.