For when you need to talk in-person, but don’t want to breathe each other’s breath.

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, spoken business communication has largely shifted to video conferences. However, holding a conversation over the Internet comes with a variety of potential problems. Technical glitches can make it hard to hear one another, and the effects of non-verbal communication are greatly diminished when they have to come through a monitor, with nuance and personality being lost along the way.

Japanese office supply company Kokuyo has a solution, though. After seeing the increased demand these days for enclosed one-person work pods, Kokuyo’s designers asked why not a work booth built for two, and the result is its new 1-on-1-Type Work Pod.

Much like other work pods, there’s a seat and desk, plus power outlets and USB ports. However, in front of you there’s a glass partition, and on the other side is a space for another person, accessed by its own door. This gives you and your counterpart your own separate, closed-off environment, in order to minimize the chance of viral transmission.

Fresh air is cycled into each compartment every 30 seconds, so you won’t need to worry about running out of oxygen. You won’t need to learn sign language before your meeting either, as the work pod has speakers and microphones so that you can talk to each other from opposite sides of the glass. Speaking of which, the partition can also be lowered if you’re going to be using the pod all by yourself and want a little more space.

Kokuyo particularly recommends the booth for meetings where the topic matter is one where discretion is called for, and the participants might be uneasy discussing sensitive business matters over the Internet for security reasons.

Pricing is yet to be announced, but Kokuyo plans to start selling the 1-on-1-Type Work Pod this January.

Source, images: Press release
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