Pause Pod wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of the open office plan. This is what a work tent looks like.
Office Life

Open plan offices are so terrible that a new company is selling workplace tents

In an open office plan, you are surrounded by co-workers, buffeted by the winds of their noisy company, whether you like to hear it or not. A new device wants to offer you a one-person escape pod from the tyrannies of this setup.

Pause Pod, which markets itself as the “world’s first private pop up space suitable for all your relaxation needs,” was launched as a Kickstarter campaign in April, and now can be bought in its prototype stage. The Sweden-based entrepreneurs said they were “inspired by the blanket forts we used to build when growing up.”

It looks like a child-sized tent, it functions like a tent, so what makes it different than a tent? That’s the big question.

Like other tents, Pause Pod uses light-reducing fabric, portability, easy pop-up construction, spacious pockets, and ventilated openings to keep you comfortable. Unlike most other tents, it also has a fold-out leg compartment so that you can stretch your limbs and become a living, breathing hazard on your office floor for bemused co-workers to step over.

If you’ve always wanted a leg den for your indoor office needs, Pause Pod is the tent for you. For additional upgrades to your portable cave of solitude, you can get an ear mask and ear muff, also known as the Mini Pause.

Testimonials of workers who have used Pause Pod say that it can function as a “breather” from the distractions of noisy, busy workplaces. Pause Pod is not the first gadget to attempt to disrupt the workforce with a promise of peace and quiet. There are nap tents for your desk and noise-blocking astronaut helmets you can take Skype calls on that make this grand promise, too.

The promise of solitude has gained more traction in recent years as more of us are forced to reckon with each other outside of the closed comforts of rooms with doors. According to the International Management Facility Association, nearly three-quarters of U.S. employees work in open plan offices. And that frustrates us. A 2013 study found that public sounds were the biggest frustration for employees in open cubicles.

So if you’re ready to forsake your dignity for inner peace, go ahead and pitch your tent. When your co-workers’ chatter is driving you to the edge of your sanity, an indoor tent that can buy you back some inner peace — at the cost, perhaps, of your dignity.