The following post is brought to you by ROOM. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
Every once in a while there’s a collaboration that feels so right, all you can do is nod your head in silent approval. ROOM, creator of the soundproof phone booth that’s bringing privacy back to the open office, and Calm, the #1 app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation have teamed up to make mindfulness at work a more common reality with the Calm Booth by ROOM.
“Our brands’ missions are closely aligned. Calm is making the world happier and healthier by helping consumers reduce stress, get better sleep and be more mindful. And ROOM is helping businesses of all sizes build a happier, healthier, and more productive workplace,” said Aleena Abrahamiam, Head of Strategic Partnerships for Calm.
Launched in May 2018, ROOM is helping reinvent the modern workplace with their flagship product – a sustainable, soundproof phone booth that’s easy to assemble and move around. Each unit is shipped flat-packed and focuses on simple, functional design that helps keep costs low and quality high.
Calm is a leading global health and wellness brand with an award-winning app, named Apple’s App of the Year 2017 and Google Play Editor’s Choice. The Calm app helps users cope with anxiety, stress, and insomnia with hundreds of hours of original audio content. They’re growing fast, with over 60 million downloads to date and an average of 80,000 new users daily.
According to the American Institute of Stress, each year workplace stress costs U.S. companies over $300 billion, with over 1 million people calling in sick daily due to work-related stressors. And as of late, employers have been choosing to invest in mindful well-being solutions for their employees in an attempt to help them deal with stress, focus, creativity, and happiness.
By meditating and practicing mindfulness, employees will learn to be less distracted, more present, and more connected with the people and the world around them.
– Alejandra Albarran, Director of Design & Innovation, ROOM
“By placing a Calm Booth in the workplace, we are offering a space dedicated to mindfulness which will in turn, have a great impact on the overall wellness and productivity of workers. We see this booth as a place where employees might enter stressed and anxious, swept away with their own thoughts, and hopefully come out focused, calmer and more present.”
Each Calm Booth by ROOM offers busy employees the tools and necessary space to relax and refocus by providing a beautifully designed private area that limits noise and distractions, and helps free the mind. Each booth comes with 12 complimentary subscriptions to premium Calm content available on the app, which offers dedicated mindfulness sessions specifically designed for the workplace. There’s also Nature Soundscapes and Music to help with stress, anxiety, and focus. Calm’s popular Nature Scenes even inspired the interior design of the phone booth – a misty green forest print with a frosted acrylic privacy door that invites you to step inside and take a deep breath.
Abrahamian gave further insight, “Engagement with our content, such as the Mindfulness at Work series (launched May 2018), has shown demand and repetitive use for this type of workplace service. A few examples include increased use of our workplace content in the morning, Emergency Calm during the day, and big spikes in usage in September and January when people are back to work after taking a break during the summer and Holidays. Calm’s innovative content coupled with ROOM’s relaxing and sustainably designed space is the ideal product to offer workspaces that are focused on ensuring the mental well-being of their employees.”
As for how the design of the Calm Booth varies from ROOM’s traditional phone booths, Albarran said, “We designed the Calm Booth with the intention of providing a space in the office where employees could enter and feel an instant calmness. Our booths are already soundproof so that part was solved, but we wanted to design the booth with a sensorial approach. We changed our traditional interior grey felt to a large-scale sweeping image of a mystic forest that creates a feeling of calm and comfort as soon as one steps inside the room. We frosted the window to give privacy, yet still allow for natural light to come in. The placement of the Calm logo on the frosted door allows people to see if the booth is in use from afar, so sessions are free from distraction.”
The Calm Booth by ROOM features three layers of soundproofing materials, made from over 1,000 recycled plastic bottles, that block outside noise while absorbing the sound from within. The booths are fully ventilated, and feature a motion-activated sensor that automatically turns on two ultra-quiet fans when someone steps into the booth. The sensor also activates a soft LED light. Other features you’ll find in the Calm Booth include a custom built-in desk that enables placement of your chosen tech to tune into the Calm app, a magnetic backboard and even ethernet connectivity. Each Calm Booth is easily assembled in less than an hour by two people, they ship free, and there’s a 100 day risk-free trial period.
“The flexibility of these soundproof booths enables them to be anywhere, whether that’s a professional office setting, a co-working space, a break room for employees, a warehouse, a hotel, and so on. People are more conscious of their day-to-day well-being, and they are hungry for services and products to help achieve their wellness goals. Americans spend a third of their lives at work, so a partnership with ROOM to bring a little Calm to the workplace made a lot of sense,” Abrahamian said.
Albarran shared, “Our booths have become a basic necessity for my coworkers (at ROOM) as well as myself. We don’t need to take phone calls in the hallway or bathrooms anymore, and we cause minimal unnecessary distractions for our colleagues. We have eight booths for forty employees and they are almost always in use. People feel more comfortable taking calls, conducting video conferences, or doing dedicated focused work inside a booth compared to anywhere else in the office. I believe it is essential in today’s workplace to provide privacy for employees and a ROOM Booth is the perfect space to find that peace and quiet.”
“Integrating mindfulness practices at work can be simple. Begin with what’s doable – either alone, with your team, or with your entire company. Start where you are,” Abrahamian suggests. Here are some tips Calm suggests for getting a handle on workplace wellness.
Mindful Movement – Reduce the stress hormones in your system with some simple mindful movements. Slow your breath. Stretch your arms, your legs, your back, as you’re able. If you can, go for a walk. Even five minutes can make a big difference when it comes to stress relief. If it feels right, invite colleagues and make it a regular thing.
Daily Calm Meditation – Each morning, there is a new 10 minute meditation called the Daily Calm. You might make it a morning practice on your own or with colleagues.
Music and Nature Sounds – Music affects the parasympathetic nervous system. It can slow our heart rates and breathing, lower our blood pressure, and encourage our muscles to relax. Playing soothing, meditative music helps with stress relief anywhere, and can be especially handy at work. Choose slower songs with rhythms that match a slower heart beat. Or nature sounds that you find calming.
Emergency Calm – In times of more acute job stress – an overpacked schedule, preparing for a difficult conversation, trouble prioritizing – Emergency Calm is three-minute meditation designed to settle nerves, relax the body, and clear the mind.
Mindfulness Outside of Work – It’s easy to bring work stress home with us and to wake up with it again the next day if we don’t have good tools for managing it. Adding a short mindfulness practice – one that you like and that feels easy – can really help.