12 Things to Look for in an Office Phone Booth

There are numerous factors to consider when evaluating which office phone booth to purchase and it can be difficult to find an option that checks all the boxes.

The office phone booth is an excellent solution for open offices and collaborative workplaces where people are often on the phone or Zoom and acoustic privacy is at a premium. Compact and sound-insulated, booths offer users a comfortable space to conduct calls and virtual meetings where workers can focus on the conversation and avoid disturbing others.

As video conferencing becomes increasingly ubiquitous, owners and managers of busy open offices and coworking spaces should consider investing in phone booths to better equip their workplaces for virtual collaboration.

Lately, however, office phone booth brands are proliferating, making it more difficult to choose the option that best meets your needs and values.

Bento was designed with all of these considerations in mind – learn more here.

There are several perspectives to weigh when choosing an office phone booth

Clearly, a booth must provide an exceptional experience for its primary user group – office workers utilizing the space for phone calls and video conferences. However, there are other stakeholders involved in a phone booth’s purchase, installation, and daily use whose experiences should also be considered.

For example, the office manager will prefer premium design, durable materials, and easy maintenance. The purchasing agent will appreciate painless delivery, easy assembly, and good customer service from the booth vendor. And everyone in the organization will value sustainable materials and a transparent supply chain.

The following sections unpack what each of these stakeholders likely values most in their office phone booth.

From the user’s perspective, comfort and performance parameters are most important

The people using the booth on a daily basis for calls and video conferencing will focus on its core performance and design features.

  • Acoustics: Does the office phone booth manage sound to prevent leakage and limit internal echoes or excessive deadening? Though total soundproofing is typically not possible in practice, a good phone booth will drastically minimize sound exchange between the inside and outside. Additionally, the interior acoustic environment should be comfortable, without reverberation or echoes but not so muffled that it feels unnervingly silent. 
  • Lighting: Are users’ faces well lit so they look their best on video? Some office phone booths only offer top-down lighting which can cast unsightly shadows across the face and make users appear as if calling from a closet somewhere. The Bento booth provides frontal lighting which evenly washes the face with light for an optimal appearance on camera.
  • Ventilation: Does the office phone booth stay cool and fresh even as calls drag on for an hour plus? Booths on the market use a variety of strategies to ventilate their interiors. Some blow fresh air from above, others include both intake and exhaust fans in the ceiling. The Bento booth leverages natural thermodynamics to pull in cool air from the floor and exhaust warm air from the ceiling. From an airflow perspective, ventilation systems should move enough air to keep things fresh inside, totally replenishing the interior volume at least once per minute.

From the office operator’s perspective, design and ease of care are key

The people responsible for operating and maintaining the office need a phone booth that makes their lives easier and does not add new burdens.

  • Design: Will the phone booth look good in the office and reflect the organization’s attention to detail and quality? A booth’s design should fit in with the workplace’s overall design aesthetic and add an element of sophistication. Some booths look more like a pristine smartphone than a functional resource, standing out in a distracting way. Others might be noticeably inelegant and generic, projecting “economy” over “quality”. The best office phone booths strike a balance between looking great on their own and complementing the space they share.
  • Durability: Do the materials and moving parts stand the test of time? Once the booth is installed and plugged in, it should hold up for years without needing much attention or repairs. Look for booths that use solid materials instead of composites—like plywood rather than particleboard and real glass instead of thin acrylic. The desk and door handle should be reinforced to stay rigid over time. Premium hinges and latches keep the door sealed tight after hundreds of open-close cycles.
  • Maintenance: Is the booth easy to clean and take care of? Your office phone booth should not require much maintenance beyond routine cleaning like any other furnishing in the workplace. Booths with natural materials are less likely to stain or capture odors. Artificial materials tend to harbor bacteria longer than natural alternatives. The Bento booth sources natural materials throughout, from natural felt-covered acoustic paneling to cork flooring to plywood desk, handle, and wall elements.

From the purchaser’s perspective, the buying and installation experiences are paramount

The person responsible for procuring office phone booths will benefit from a painless set-up process and collaborative customer service along the way.

  • Delivery: Does the booth vendor offer affordable and convenient delivery and installation services? Though compact by other measures, office phone booths are large objects that can be logistically challenging to ship and set up. Look for white glove delivery and assembly options that remove the heavy lifting from your installation experience.
  • Modular assembly: How easy is it to build and dismantle the phone booth for installation and relocation? Though they all may seem simple enough once fully assembled, not all booths were designed to make the processes of building and dismantling a breeze. Some booths require hours of time and myriad tools to pull together. On the other end of the spectrum, the Bento booth consists of just a handful of parts that can be easily assembled in a half-hour by a couple of people. And if it needs relocation one day, disassembly is just as easy.
  • Customer service: How streamlined and painless is the purchasing and delivery process? Because every organization and its workplace characteristics are unique, the booth company you deal with should be receptive to your specific needs and facilitate a seamless and positive experience from beginning to end. Some booth vendors operate more like impersonal cable companies while others tailor their service for each individual customer.

And everyone involved should feel good about an office phone booths’ intrinsic design and manufacturing characteristics

There are certain features in a product that everyone in an organization will care about, such as its impact on the environment and support of the local economy.

  • Sustainable design: Does the booth incorporate renewable and recyclable materials? For each of an office phone booth’s primary components, there are more and less sustainable choices available. For example, wool felt upholstery and mineral wool insulation are greener choices than petroleum-based materials. Wood components should be sustainably forested and finished with nontoxic coatings. Solid metal frames can be recycled at the end of the booth’s useful life whereas composite assemblies are more likely to end up in a landfill.
  • Transparent supply chain: Do the booth company’s sourcing practices inspire trust and confidence or are there more mysteries than answers? Increasingly, across numerous industries, corporate transparency can be a crucial factor in a purchasing decision. Some booth companies proudly detail where and how they source their materials and components while others are opaque about their supply chain. Your choice of office phone booth has the potential to reflect your organization’s commitment to responsible manufacturing practices.
  • Local production: Was the booth manufactured domestically or shipped from overseas? Many office phone booth options on the market today are produced in Asia and shipped halfway around the world to your workplace. Domestic manufacturing, on the other hand, keeps more dollars in local economies and is more likely to promote small businesses and job creation within our borders.

The Bento office phone booth was optimized for all of these factors. Learn more about how Bento is an ideal solution for your workplace adaptation!

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