Phone Booths

Hi All-

Looking to DIY a phone booth. Any recommendations?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c3gHx4GPZo

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On Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 2:56:45 PM UTC-7, Brandon Napoli wrote:

Hi All-

Looking to DIY a phone booth. Any recommendations?

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/AX8AtoImJbH9eoKlP4a0ZXZPM-la_7E9i1lJ5lK4gHcm2JNgelSi_gQ/visual-search/?x=13&y=13&w=417&h=528

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https://www.thefellowmhk.com/phone-booth

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On Friday, February 23, 2018 at 8:08:04 AM UTC-6, Katie Zulanas wrote:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c3gHx4GPZo

On Thursday, February 22, 2018 at 2:56:45 PM UTC-7, Brandon Napoli wrote:

Hi All-

Looking to DIY a phone booth. Any recommendations?

Hey Brandon,

If you’ve got a lot of time and some construction know how, I think DIY is a great option but not practical for most. We’ve looked around at a bunch of options (framery, talkboxbooth etc) and think Zenbooth is the best economical option. Happy to make an intro and help get you a 10% discount on their products if you have any interest.

https://shop.zenbooth.net/

Other super cheap options are the domos - https://abstracta.se/product/domo-wall-booth/ but I find them a bit claustrophobic.

Best of luck!

Michael

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On Friday, February 23, 2018 at 5:56:45 AM UTC+8, Brandon Napoli wrote:

Hi All-

Looking to DIY a phone booth. Any recommendations?

There are so many factors at play with phone calls and open office spaces that it’s high time we had a comprehensive list of the choices and considerations for phone room options in coworking spaces.

Space Considerations for Taking Calls in a Coworking Space

I often fantasize about my ideal coworking space; one I can design from scratch that will magically solve all my current challenges in my own space, Cohere. In addition to having a stove and oven, I would build approximately 40,000 phone booths into it.

For small spaces

If your coworking space is small or less than about 2,000 square feet, there’s a good chance that everyone can see and hear everyone else when they are coworking. If you have the good fortune to be spread over 2 or more levels at this size, you may be able to designate one area of coworking as active and chatty and another area for concentration and no phone calls. If that just won’t work, keep reading because I’m going to give you ALL THE CHOICES for phone rooms to use in your coworking space.

For large spaces

If your space is very large or over 5,000 square feet, you have sheer distance at your advantage. You can keep active, chatty coworking with phone calls near the front door where there is lots of bustle IF that’s not annoying for people who are on the phone. As you move away from the entry, you can designate quieter more peaceful coworking. Employing visual dividers or racks of plants can help achieve this.

Most larger spaces will have several breakout or meeting rooms that can be used for phone calls. I recommend it. Sometimes a call is just really important to a member and they won’t want background chatter filtering in from their end.

For existing coworking spaces or retrofitting a current space with phone booths

An easy way to get a phone booth in hurry is to convert an existing closet. I have created five such spaces at Cohere, which are detailed below in the DIY section.

For new construction or tenant finish coworking spaces

I always recommend that people plan to build in several single person, double occupancy and team meeting spaces when they are working with a blank slate. I think Indy Hall in Philadelphia, PA did the best job at this designing rooms specific to calls and even podcasting. Their coworking phone rooms include windows to the interior of the space, lighting and integrated HVAC. They’ve managed to not post a photo of the spaces yet so you’ll have to visit in person!

If you want a bit more flexibility and you have a benevolent investor, there are several beautiful and drool worthy ready-made phone booths, which are detailed below.

What to look for when you buy or build a phone booth for your coworking space

There are several key components you should be looking at when deciding on a phone solution in your space.

  1. Ventilation: little rooms with people and computers in them get HOT and if your phone booths don’t have a ventilation system, your members will be sad, hot red lobsters after only 20 minutes.
  2. Lighting: this seems sort of obvious but many calls are conducted over video so be sure your members look lovely and not like yellowing zombies from one overhead light alone. A nice lamp in front of your members will illuminate their lovely faces and make them look less hobgoblin-y on Zoom.
  3. Sound proofing: it is undecided how sound proof a phone booth in a coworking space should actually be. If you are serving people who need a crazy amount of privacy then you should probably go all the way with one of the ready built options below. I personally don’t think you need a cone of silence but something that blocks 30-40% of the sound will do wonders for the atmosphere in your space. It is worth noting that sound proofing is different from sound dampening. Sound proofing is where you block the sound from leaving one space and going in to another. This is only accomplished with sheer mass (thicker walls, sealing all gaps, special insulating materials, doors so expensive you’ll weep). Sound dampening improves how things sound inside the room. Those spikey foam panels WILL NOT prevent sound from leaving the room but they will reduce echo, which is nice for phone calls.
  4. Furniture: a shortcoming I notice in some of the ready-made booths is the size and placement of the computer desk and the lack of chair. Many calls that members make are long and video-based. Be sure you have phone room options in your coworking space that provide a deep enough work surface at a smart height so their computer video camera can actually capture their face in the frame. Do your coworkers want to stand or sit? This changes how high your desk surface needs to be BY A LOT. Ponder that carefully. Don’t scrimp on the seats. I see a lot of phone booths that have little wooden stools only. This might work for quick pop-in calls but if your member is a remote accountant who has to talk about 80,000 lines of inventory of different aircraft parts in an Xcel sheet to an auditor…that’s going to take way more time than the wooden seat will allow her bottom.
  5. To glass or not to glass? I personally think that phone rooms should have a view. Even some glass between the phone booth and the interior of the space will keep members from feeling claustrophobic. It also helps to see at a glance which rooms are in use.

Keeping those factors in mind, let’s find you the phone booth of your dreams.
Full post at https://www.diycoworking.com/blog/2018/7/23/why-phone-rooms-are-so-important-in-coworking-spaces

1 Like

Love this so much, Angel! Great, thorough write up.

Thank you @jamie_orr. for those people in the UK, I just learned about Meavo. They don’t ship internationally but they are also worth a gander and appear to be fairly similar to Room.


It’s one of two that we have in Boxworks.ie Waterford Ireland. The other is green and based on the old Irish Telephone box no longer in existence …not 100% sound proofed but regularly used by our members for phone calls and photo ops (as you can see lol)