Outdoor Meeting Pods: The Benefits



  • Posted on: 27 June 2024
  • By: admin
Harvey Banner
industry news

With flexible applications and a compact design, meeting pods have become a common fixture within commercial spaces nationwide, but they don’t have to be an inside-only appointment.

Many meeting rooms are designed to withstand the elements and make good use of exterior commercial spaces that often hold untapped business potential.

In this article, we discuss the advantages of investing in outdoor meeting pods for your commercial space. Read on to find out how these innovative structures could benefit your workforce and your bottom line.

An introduction to outdoor meeting pods

Outdoor meeting pods, or, as they’re sometimes referred to, outdoor or garden office pods, are robust, weatherproof structures that serve as discrete meeting or working zones beyond the confines of typical working environments, such as offices or studios.

Secure when enclosed and inviting when open, they offer employees shelter and privacy to carry out their duties, hold meetings, or even just relax in a novel, built-for-purpose location. 

As they’re often easy to install, they can be inexpensive and non-disruptive additions to a commercial area. In fact, they can easily generate ROI when used effectively.

Let’s explore how!

The benefits of outdoor meeting pods

Wellbeing in the Workplace

In today’s world, it’s easy to feel dislocated from nature, especially during work hours, but outdoor meeting pods can bridge the gap between greenery and a good day’s work.

Outdoor meeting pods typically feature open sides or transparent enclosures, ensuring a feeling of connectedness to the outside world and any nature in the surrounding area, introducing several benefits. 

Studies show that exposure to nature can contribute towards lower blood pressure, enhanced overall mental health, and bolstered cognitive capabilities - simultaneously elevating worker wellbeing and productivity.

Additional research suggests that those with access to green spaces experience far less mental distress than those without, helping them feel at ease and think clearly. This can be particularly useful for stress relief in high-pressure professions.

Furthermore, research carried out by the Yale School of the Environment found that nature exposure can reduce feelings of aggression, meaning time spent in and around outdoor meeting pods could contribute towards a more calm and positive workplace culture.

Variety of working conditions

While your workforce can be considered a cohesive unit, each employee is nonetheless unique.

People prefer to work in certain ways and in certain spaces. For example, some may prefer a traditional office setting, while others may feel they produce better work in a quieter or less formal environment.

Research shows that providing flexible workspaces that cater to multiple work styles is crucial to helping individual employees realise their potential. In this regard, an outdoor meeting pod is a big step in the right direction.

Although the name ‘meeting pod’ implies their use for collaborative or presentational purposes, they can just as well be used by one or a few people who wish to work independently in a more relaxed setting.

And even if you do plan on only using your outdoor meeting pods for meetings, your staff are still afforded an opportunity to get some fresh air, which is beneficial in its own right.

Indoor air can be five times as polluted as the air outdoors. Stepping outside and taking some deep breaths can improve oxygen flow and increase serotonin (the “happy hormone”) production, helping to reinvigorate your staff before they return to their workstation.

It can also enhance the function of white blood cells, thereby fortifying the immune system - potentially reducing sick days and improving overall business productivity.

Inspire creativity & collaboration

Meeting pods are celebrated for enhancing creativity and collaboration. Whether in or outdoors, providing a space where employees can spontaneously meet and bounce ideas off one another without having to book a time slot in a traditional meeting space, can facilitate deeper, more valuable discussions. This can, in turn, result in swifter implementation of plans, directly benefiting the business.

Although they can be used in a formal manner, outdoor meeting pods typically have a more relaxed and easy-going atmosphere, encouraging the free-sharing of ideas that employees may not have the confidence to contribute in a more buttoned-down setting.

Make use of outdoor space

We’ve discussed the issue of unused commercial space before, focusing mostly on underutilised indoor areas. However, outdoor areas are still technically costing businesses money, so it’s worth putting them to good use. And with outdoor meeting pods, you can do just that.

These structures come in all shapes and sizes and can often even be customised to suit the requirements of specific outdoor areas, ensuring optimal use of your external square footage and maximising the ROI for your real estate investment.

Improve brand image 

Outdoor meeting pods can establish your brand as innovative and employee-forward, which can be attractive to both clients and potential employees. They’re a small addition that speaks volumes about your commitment to worker wellbeing and individuality.

Outdoor meeting pods: What are your options?

One of the great things about outdoor meeting pods is the variety of designs available. They can be open-fronted, completely enclosed, spherical, oblong, big, small… you name it.

Which type of outdoor meeting pod is right for you and your employees comes down to its intended use. Explore some of your options below.

Open outdoor meeting pods

Open outdoor meeting pods, such as this open design from the Meeting Pod Company, offer a relaxed space for people to sit and work, talk, eat lunch or just enjoy a quiet moment.

While the lack of walls limits the privacy of this type of outdoor meeting pod, benefits include affordable price tags, ease of installation, zero energy consumption and a more inviting aesthetic.

These meeting pods are also often available as semi-enclosed units, meaning one side is walled, while the other is open. These are the perfect options for positioning your outdoor meeting pod alongside a surface, such as a wall or fence.

Enclosed outdoor meeting pods

Fully enclosed meeting pods offer users privacy to speak without being overheard, while clear wall segments ensure a satisfying view of the outside environment.

The fully enclosed version of the Meeting Pod Company pod discussed above features solar panels and an integrated battery for charging phones and laptops, offering a backup for essential work during power outages.

Unique outdoor meeting pods

There is no shortage of avant-garde, statement-piece outdoor meeting pods if you feel your outdoor space and your employees would benefit from something that feels a little bit special.

Meeting pods, such as the Oval House pictured above, bring a luxurious, bespoke look to an area, helping to inspire users and enhance creativity.

Featuring 360° panoramic windows, as well as a stainless steel roof panel to reflect heat during peak sunlight hours, the Oval House brings you closer to nature while protecting against the impractical aspects of working “outdoors”.

Final thoughts

With the potential to boost employee wellness and productivity, elevate brand image, and reduce real-estate overheads, there’s a clear business case to be made for outdoor meeting pods.

Whether you opt for an open design, a fully enclosed pod, or a unique statement piece, outdoor meeting pods can help employees reach their potential and deliver their best work.

For more information about outdoor meeting pods or any of our other products, contact Working Environments Furniture today.

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