Taking a U-turn from prevailing open office plans — designed with collaboration and camaraderie in mind – the MOSS pod workplace concept by New York-based architect, Victor Vetterlein, is a free-standing unit that offers a private sanctuary for just one worker.
Standing for Micro Office Systems Space, the MOSS concept is designed to serve the increasing number of employees now working from home. Free from the distraction of ringing phones, pinging emails and distracting chatter, the concept provides a place for employees to think, create and connect, but only when necessary.
A statement from Vetterlein explains:
MOSS provides each employee with a direct visual, audio, and data link to the main office and also a professional environment to hold small business meetings….The user of MOSS feels a good separation from home and work life while not having to commute to the office.
From the exterior, MOSS pods appear steely and bunker-like, protecting workers and equipment from outdoor elements and security concerns. Inside, the workspace is designed to be cozy and welcoming. The design includes a built-in desk, shelving, meeting space, a wood burning oven, a skylight and three shuttered windows, as well as an option to include a toilet and sink.
The units have the potential to be energy independent, with solar panels and a wind turbine integrated into the design.
Vetterlein envisions that employers would lease or buy the prefabricated units and transport them to employees’ homes. The pods can be located in private yards, driveways, parking spots or rooftops, bolted down to concrete foundation pads (as used by mobile storage units commonly witnessed in urban areas).
Where neither open or secluded workplaces may be perfect for any one task or individual, decades of research have pointed out that open office plans can be attributed to worker sickness, stress, impaired focus and fatigue, and decreased worker satisfaction with their physical environment and perceived productivity. As the number of remote and contract workers continues to rise, how might design solutions like MOSS pods add flexibility and productivity benefits to getting great work done?
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