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Distracted At Work? Then Work Inside the Bubble

Is the noisy open office environment getting you down lately? Maybe it's time to make a statement on modern office culture by putting a Darth Vader-like dome over your head!

Sure, there are other things I could blog about this morning. The (now former) Yelp employee who complained about her minimum wage predicament. Donald Trump's Las Vegas hotel-casino employees hoping to engage Mr. Trump in contract talks while he rallies in Nevada. The demise of the liberal arts degree.

They're all great options, but I'm going to stay inside the bubble like the establishment GOP. It's easy, and I'm tired -- but not as tired as you are watching a co-worker chew with his mouth open every day! If only you could find an easy way to block out the random visuals and noise around the office, right?

Well, Finland-based company Mottowasabi has come up with an innovative solution to all your workplace peripheral woes!

It's called the Tomoko. Basically, the Tomoko is a sleek, umbrella-like dome that rests over your head while you work. As Fast Company reports:

It's a little like the line of cocoon-like desks that Steelcase designed to maximize peak productivity. But the new felt dome, called the Tomoko, works with existing furniture: You can set it on a desk and sit your head inside, or perch it on a stand to hover over a chair to act like a partial phone booth.

"It doesn't reduce all the noise, but the noise has less volume," says [Mottowasabe designer and Tomoko co-creator Yuki] Abe. "When talking on the phone under Tomoko, others don't hear well what you are saying. When it comes to visual distractions, it's possible to see in front but not to the sides."

For some reason, I'm suddenly thinking about the Cone of Silence episode from the awesome Get Smart TV series. Maxwell Smart realizes that he may be discussing top-secret information with a work colleague and asks for the Cone of Silence to be dropped. Then neither party can hear each other at all.

But the Tomoko looks cool and it could cut down on the distractions, which is what really matters. Here's a YouTube clip of Abe talking about the product. In Finnish. You can see what the Tomoko would look like on a desk, though. I'll wait until I see it on the shelves at Ikea.

So, be bold and make a statement. Message: The open office environment isn't working for you. You need your own Cone of Silence. Maybe you can start a new office trend? May the workforce be with you.


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