Inside Meta's Push To Solve the Noisy Office
Thursday February 16, 2023. 07:00 PM , from Slashdot
Coming to the campuses of Facebook parent Meta Platforms is a contraption that can block sound, shield workers from their peers and allow for heads-down, uninterrupted work. It's a cubicle. From a report: That is, a noise-canceling cubicle designed using some of the same principles found in soundproof, echo-free anechoic chambers. 'The Cube,' which the company is beginning to roll out to offices worldwide after months of development, absorbs sound from multiple directions, says John Tenanes, vice president of global real estate and facilities at Meta. 'It's like a self-cocoon.'
Meta's experiment comes as workplaces are in the midst of a shake-up. Like many other employers, Meta realized early in the pandemic that its open-plan arrangements would need to shift to accommodate a new hybrid era of work. In 2021, it asked 10 groups of architects, design firms and furniture manufacturers-- including MillerKnoll's Herman Miller, KI and others -- to build a new office set-up. They were given guiding principles to follow and eight weeks to do it. The Cube began to take shape, in part, after one of Meta's furniture vendors brought in an early prototype of a movable screen. Engineers quickly gravitated to it, grabbing one or two at a time to essentially barricade themselves at their desks, Dr. Nagy says. Meta and its vendors refined the Cube, and its popularity became even more apparent during testing when workers began personalizing the spaces to effectively reserve them.
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