Microsoft reimagines the cubicle with futuristic focus pod
The future of hybrid work could include open pods that allow people to focus in hybrid workspaces.
What you need to know
- A concept by the Microsoft Office Envisioning Team won a Red Dot award for the Flowspace Pod.
- The design presents an open chamber that would help people focus within a hybrid work environment.
- A computer within a mockup of the Flowspace Pod appears similar to the display of the Surface Studio.
A concept from Microsoft won an award from Red Dot, which declares the idea among "the best of the best in 2021." It's called the Flowspace Pod, and it takes a new approach to compartmentalized working. Rather than completely enclosing someone within a cubicle or blocked off environment, the Flowspace Pod has an open concept that still allows people to focus.
The Microsoft Office Envisioning Team came up with the idea for hybrid workplaces. The Flowspace Pod features a computer that appears to be heavily inspired by the Surface Studio. A video of the concept shows a PC screen with then bezels tilting down and back up. Later in the video, speakers pop out of the sides of the pod.
The Flowspace Pod looks a bit like a cubicle redesigned for modern hybrid work. It has open sides that would allow people to easily work without feeling trapped in a box. Mockups of the setup show versions with and without the back.
"The Flowspace Pod is a vision for the new normal, a sanctuary for focus and deep work in highly collaborative hybrid workplaces where solo work time will become more precious," reads the description of the idea on the Red Dot award page.
At least for now, the Flowspace Pod is only a concept. If you'd like to immerse yourself in your work and lower distractions, you'll have to resort to a pair of the best noise-canceling headphones.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at email@example.com (opens in new tab).
The screen has this feeling of like a Surface Studio, but with smaller bezel and larger.
Add plants and curves. Classic Microsoft. I'm surprised there isn't a video wall with rotating Bing wallpapers. Or Ballmer. Where's Ballmer?
Many people find plants and curves soothing, so if you're trying to make a work environment more relaxing, seems like a solid starting point.
I guess. I do like the textures.
Wow. That looks both ugly and uncomfortable. Congratulations.
I'm not sure exactly how it qualifies as ugly, compared to the average desk. As for uncomfortable, I can see how it might appear so at a glance but first impressions can be deceiving, especially to those who want to be negative and don't bother to look too closely. My first impression was that the stool was too high for the desk and not especially ergonomic. The stem is obviously height-adjustable though, and the fact that it is at an angle indicates that it is the type of stool that can move around with your body. That can take some getting used to and may not be for everyone but they are actually considered very ergonomic.
A narrow desk like that is the quickest and guaranteed way of getting long term pain in your shoulders, arms, wrist and fingers. If you sit with your arm hanging over the edge of the table, as you will do on that table, you are guaranteed a life in pain that will haunt you for years to come.
Doesn't look too comfortable...