Innovation That Matters

Garden offices geared for telecommuting

Work & Lifestyle

Back in 2006 we wrote about iscape, a British company that manufactured stand-alone offices for installation in the user’s home garden. The company since merged with rival Garden Lodges and has begun offering an expanded line, but now it’s also gained a new competitor: the OfficePOD. Whereas Garden Lodges aims its offices and other structures primarily at consumers, the OfficePOD focuses on employers who want to give their staff the option of working at home. The unit is a 2.1-by-2.1-metre structure that can be installed in less than a day and typically requires no planning consent. Designed to maximize efficiency in its use of space, the OfficePOD features innovative storage and desktop solutions using high-quality materials chosen for their visual, physical and environmental characteristics. Recycled and recyclable products have been used wherever possible and natural materials chosen over man-made. Power is provided via a protected connection to the house or garage; IT and phone connectivity are generally wireless but can be similarly cabled. The POD satisfies the most stringent energy performance benchmarks with its low energy consumption, high levels of insulation and innovative cooling system. Also included on the OfficePOD is a secure locking system. The OfficePOD is available to employers through a flexible leasing arrangement with full service including all surveys, enabling work, installation, help-desk support, health and safety assessments, repairs and removal. Pricing is GBP 5,000 per POD per year, and general availability will begin January 2010. There’s no shortage of arguments in favour of flexible work arrangements, ranging from financial and environmental considerations to workers’ quality of life. For employers, the OfficePOD can even create demonstrable property cost savings of GBP 9,000 or more per employee per year, its maker says. The OfficePOD will be officially debuted in London later this month; one to check out, partner with, or otherwise get in on early….?



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