A startup called ROOM fights open-office layouts with new portable office spaces

Despite fears that VC-backed startups would lose value, mega-funding rounds are producing more billion-dollar startups than ever.

August 16, 2018

A study by Harvard Business School found that open offices actually lead to a 72% drop in face-to-face interaction between employees, thus upping email use and lowering productivity.

AKA, the antithesis of what open-office layouts were designed for.

Now, Techcrunch reports a new startup called ROOM has joined the anti-open-office movement by building “rooms” — prefabricated, and “easy” to assemble — right over the top of your open-office concept.

Let the revolution begin

Today, close to 70% of all US offices are “open concept” — meaning no cubicles, no partitions, and no private officex for people to get some dang peace and quiet.

That’s where ROOM’s room comes in. The ROOM One is a $3.5k soundproof booth, scientifically constructed with power outlets and ventilation, so none of those heated sales calls fog up the glass.

And they aren’t the only ones joining the fight: In January, Wall Box announced their fish-bowl product of the same concept, as well as companies like TalkBox and Zenbooth (all reportedly more expensive than ROOM).

And people are buying…

It’s easy to look at these privacy chambers and giggle, but the concept could actually save businesses a ton of money on lost productivity, and be flexible enough for fast-growing companies.

Now, it looks as if companies are finally listening to the more than 60% of open-office employees who are tired of the chaos. Since launching less than a year ago, ROOM has already locked in close to 200 clients, including  Salesforce, Nike, NASA, and JP Morgan, and a $10m revenue run rate.

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