Microsoft’s Flowspace Pod concept will make you want Cubicle

Microsoft’s Flowspace Pod concept will certainly make you want a cabin with its modern, minimalist and innovative design. It’s the modern cab designed for the work-based hybrid future.

Rather than boxed sides, the FlowSpace Pod comes with open sides for easy collaboration, an immersive design that lets you focus on your work, and a sleek build that’s been designed with the realities of hybrid working in mind. Microsoft’s new version on the cabin even earned the company a Red Dot award for its design, with the concept itself earning the “best of the best of 2021” distinction.

Microsoft's Flowspace Pod is the cabin of the modern hybrid office.

The Flowspace Pod’s open-sided bedroom is set up with ambient backlighting, a minimalist desktop setup, a large TV-like screen that can be tilted and tilted for ergonomic use – similar to Microsoft’s Surface Studio all-in-one , now discontinued – a simple stool and optional rear partition for more privacy. Rather than the solid side panels that are typical of most cabin spaces today, smaller shutters – with built-in speakers – extend outward from the top and sides to give the pod its own sense of space without creating a constrained environment.

“The Flowspace Pod is a vision of the new normal, a sanctuary for focus and deep work in highly collaborative hybrid workplaces where solo work time will become more valuable,” Microsoft said of its concept. on the Red Dot Awards. page. The project was designed by the Microsoft Office Envisioning team.

The idea behind Flowspace is reminiscent of the on-demand remote workspaces created by companies such as ZenSpace and Switch. Zen space, for example, looks like a large public phone booth, and it’s placed in malls as bookable private booths where you can work between purchases. Unlike ZenSpace, Flowspace is not designed to be a private pod, so its use may not be suitable for more public environments like shopping malls and hotel lobbies.

Instead, Flowspace can be a good way to give workers at a company site the pseudo-privacy of having a booth while combining the collaboration and agility features of hotdesking. Alternatively, inside large offices, Flowspace can also double as personal space for video conferencing given its large screen, speakers, and the relative built-in privacy that the design offers. This eliminates the need to build smaller conference rooms for video calls.

It’s unclear whether Microsoft intends to commercialize its design concept, or whether other companies will adopt a variation of the Flowspace design to re-architect the modern office once people start returning to work.

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