There was a brief period during the first fortnight of lockdown when video calls were amusing.

But very quickly, within a few seconds really, the novelty of seeing colleagues in their homes on a screen wore off, and what was left was the headache-inducing strain of emoting through a monitor, and the unedifying filter unique to video calls which makes everyone look like they’re in recovery.

After months of that, the relief of meeting up in person was enormous. I think my reptile brain did a backflip when it was finally able to feed on a real person’s sensory tells.

But hold your horses, because Alex from a London-based office interiors company wants the fun to continue with a “single seat Zoom booth”.

“Are you looking to rent or buy a meeting pod?” Alex emailed RollOnFriday this week. Because he’s got “single person, focused meeting pods” that can be made “exactly as you want”.


“I’m off to the office for some quality solitary confinement time.”

You may have spent two years alone, but apparently now’s the time to go smaller and lock yourself in a repurposed passport photo booth, with glass doors so people can check you’re wearing clothes below the waist and haven’t brought in a belt or shoe laces.

In Alex’s dreams, offices are filled with his hell cabinets, each cradling a worker on an adjustable-height stool as they converse with each other free from risk and joy, with staggered entry and exit times to avoid accidental real life encounters.

Working from home? Not a problem. Alex can slot his toil coffin into a standard shower cubicle, or swap it for your fridge freezer if washing is more important to you than chilled food.

If doctors advise you to stop entombing yourself, you can erect a privacy curtain and use it as a soundproof time-out scream box instead.

Just £20 a week to rent, apparently, although the brick effect walls cost extra. 



Gobblepig 24 September 21 09:16

Jamie, are you one of those irritating t**ts who likes to take Zoom calls loudly at your open-plan desk, then?

Anonymous 24 September 21 09:18

Why is it that we've been perfectly comfortable on teleconferences for decades and virtually everyone in my office (and many others) had a video phone sitting in their desk but kept the camera covered as a matter of course.

And now suddenly, people think you're some sort of weirdo of you leave your camera off on a Teams call...

Sometimes I just don't think my colleagues need to see inside my home.  Or need to know that I'm still in my PJs or couldn't be bothered shaving.

Jamie Hamilton 24 September 21 09:19

I don’t even use headphones. Just blast out both sides of the conversation. People want to hear it. 

Gobblepig 24 September 21 09:29

Fair play, then. It's how we teach the juniors, I suppose. When we're in the office with them, that is. 

Anon 24 September 21 09:48

Hmmm not so crazy as it sounds. In person hearings (you know the ones where we used to actually go to Court) now get listed alongside remote hearings. There’s nowhere in a large court centre where you could be (1) undisturbed (2) not overheard (3) out of range of that goddamn tannoy. Something worthwhile for HMCTS to spank money on. 

Anonymous 24 September 21 12:07

But.... but... there won't be the moment when a cat or dog interrupts the call and everyone cheers???!!!

Anonymous 22 October 21 16:00

I am quite happy with video conferencing and have been able to avoid any flights the last 20 months. My only gripe is the large number of different system. So I have a masking background set up for Teams, Zoom and whatnot. And then a client at the last minute brings up a new system, and I log in, only to discover there is no background masking out my room, and I get a lot of comments about a need for ironing my shirts hanging in the background.

SecularJurist 29 October 21 16:16

It reminds one of that quiz show, Mr & Mrs, where Derek Batey would ask three questions to one half of an OAP couple about their spouse, while the other is in a glass booth wearing headphones. If the other half hadn't expired in the booth, they would then emerge and be spoon-fed the answers by DB in a tone one reserves for infants. Very excruciating and silly.

These featured booths will be handy to put a child in to play games (with child lock) while the adults sit down for dinner and wine, uninterrupted.

Anonymous 28 January 22 18:08

DWF offered staff to buy one of these through them for about 6k a handful of years ago.