Skip to main content

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.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Seven Tips For Dealing With A Jealous Co-worker

Look at you, doing so well at work! We're so happy for you. Well, most of us are happy for you and refuse to spend the entire work day talking behind your back. Let's talk about how to handle our jealous co-workers!Like every other professional, you've no doubt experienced your share of failures and successes. Lately, however, things seem to be going your way at work. And how! Perhaps you've managed to ace an important project this quarter, been instrumental in landing a huge client, earned some well-deserved rewards for this and that, or -- egads! -- been given a slight promotion or additional work responsibilities (e.g., the work responsibilities you actually want).You're quietly chuffed, but somehow your co-workers seem none too pleased with this rapid turn of events. Oh no, what should you do now?It's a workplace tale older than the disjointed last season of Mad Men. The playing field in the department was even, cozy and overall very friendly -- until so-an…

Is Your Co-worker Always Late For Work?

You've started the workday, but where is your co-worker? Oh, she's running late again, just like yesterday. And the day before. And the day before that. Let's get an early start on solving her tardiness problem, shall we? Working with someone who is consistently late is one of the most annoying aspects of office life, and also one of the most common, unfortunately. It's a universal theme of the workplace that everyone will get to work on time (give or take a few minutes...) except for the employee who is egregiously late nearly every day. And the excuses can get pretty amazing. Employees became more punctual as the Great Recession lingered, at least according to surveys. Everyone, that is, except for your able-bodied but habitually-tardy co-worker. It's bad enough dealing with tardiness when you're a manager, but it can be even more frustrating when you're a rank-and-file peer without any magical "shape up or ship out" managerial powers. So you…

How To Handle Farting At Work

Nancy Grace farted on national television. Or was it a tummy grumble? Either way, viewers heard it and now it's gone viral.



Which brings up an interesting question: How should you handle embarrassing bodily malfunctions at work?

We all fart, we all get stomach gurgles, we all burp and hiccup, and usually at the worst possible moments. Maybe you "sneezefarted," meaning you sneezed so hard you let one rip at the same time. So awkward and embarrassing. Whatever happens, it's how we handle these situations that counts. The first and trickiest step is whether or not to acknowledge the obvious. Rule of thumb: the more obvious the bodily malfunction, the more you should just own it. If you fart in a staff meeting and everyone heard it, point the finger at yourself (or have someone pull it) and have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Maybe you shouldn't have had those Cajun rice and beans. Yes, feel free to reference lines from the Russian Unicorn if you must. Throw i…