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You may have heard us call our new office pod, Jetson, “innovative-driven,” “earth-friendly,” and “people-focused.” And you may be thinking, “Hey, that’s a lot of marketing mumbo-jumbo.” But rest assured, here are a few reasons why it’s just the truth! Regarding Jetson and designing our acoustic pods, we not only talk the talk, we also walk the walk. 

 

Pioneering assembly system 

Jetson is designed to be the first truly DIY office pod that could be built during a casual lunch break by two people. To make it happen, we needed to come up with completely new technology. 

The key element of Jetson’s revolutionary assembly system is our patent-pending system of connecting walls that require no tools. This now makes what has traditionally been the most difficult part of constructing an office pod similar to playing with Legos. All resources required are 2 people and some spare time (30 to 60 minutes, depending on the pod size). No drilling, no bolts, no complicated tools, or special technical skills are needed. 

We believe that listening to music makes most things easier. So for those who will decide to do the assembly themselves, our team has created two dedicated Spotify playlists. They both include songs that will boost your motivation and set the right mood. And it's not a coincidence that they take 30 and 60 minutes

Jetson_Assembly

Holistically environment-friendly 

 “Sustainable” may be one of the most overused adjective about any product. But at Mute, we really mean it. When we developed Jetson, we didn’t only want to include “energy-saving features” (though it has them) or several “sustainable solutions” (though it is equipped with many). We wanted Jetson to be genuinely and holistically environment-friendly from every point of view, starting from materials through maintenance, conservation to energy-saving.  

Unlike most acoustic pods, Jetson is built of aluminum, regarded as the world’s most sustainable building material. Sometimes it’s even called “green metal.” Why? Firstly, it’s easy-recyclable material—every batch of material is more or less 70 percent recycled and ready to be reused over and over again. Secondly, aluminum makes Jetson super-durable, meaning it will hold up for years or even decades. And, thanks to aluminum, Jetson is 30 percent lighter than similar office pods on the market, leading to lower CO2 emissions in both manufacturing and transport. 

“Sustainable” also means long-serving. And that concept doesn’t end with durable materials. That’s why Jetson is maintainable and suitable for quick and unproblematic repair. Every element of its construction—including its walls, doors, and ceiling—is easily replaceable. So, if needed, the service is quick and cheap. Basically, it comes down to ordering missing parts and replacing them. No more unrepairable malfunctions right after the warranty period!

Lastly, Jetson's power consumption is 25 percent lower than similar office pods. That’s because every electrical device inside is meticulously chosen to keep power usage to a minimum. We spent dozens of hours going through hundreds of devices and picked only those matching the highest power efficiency standards. 

Jetson_Library_Set

Flexible accessories system

Yes, Jetson is an acoustic pod, but it was also designed to provide additional functions too. Dedicated accessories installed on the walls, like shelves and whiteboards, make it more useful, universal, and adjustable to fit every office’s needs and vision. 

There are two sets of add-ons that users can choose from. The “Library Set” includes deep and shallow shelves, bookends, and additional accessories to display books, photos, and catalogs. The “Note Set,” includes a whiteboard to note down your boldest ideas during brainstorms. 

What’s really game-changing about the accessory add-ons is that they can be placed virtually anywhere on Jetson’s walls both inside or outside the pod, thanks to the smart and innovative system of hidden wall notches installed every 4.5 centimeters. The system allows reconfiguring the set effortlessly. All you need to do is grab a shelf, lift it gently to remove it from notches, and then hang it at another place or height. 

These are only a few of Jeton’s fantastic and useful innovations. If you want to learn more about our Jetson’s novelties, check out our website or listen to the audio guide we created especially for Jetson. Or better yet, experience Jetson for yourself at a trade fair or one of our showrooms across Europe. You can find us next at Orgatec in Cologne, Germany, from October 24 to 29. See you there! 

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Widex – the single world leading manufacturer of the hearing aids raised the quality index by seven percentage points using a mix of our top sound absorbers and privacy screens solutions.
Space M Corner

Buying and placing an acoustic pod may seem like a no-brainer for some. You choose the product, look for an empty spot at your office, check if a pod fits, and… there you go!

Well, that’s the easy way. But from our experience, if you’re up to making the most of a pod’s capabilities, you should consider taking a more conscious approach to the process. So, let’s dive into some basic rules for choosing and implementing acoustic pods. 

This article is a part of the Acoustic Pods Consumers Guide, which we created to address the most crucial questions about acoustic pods. The guide walks you through how to choose the right pod, place it within your office and introduce it to your team. Download your guide here.

Acoustic Pods: Choosing the right number and types

Fact: Choosing the correct number and type of acoustic pods is crucial to making the most of each. So, what’s the secret? The trick is to find the right balance: you don’t want to see your employees fighting for pod time. On the other hand, putting too many pods in one area will clutter up your workplace. But believe us, the right choice helps you transform your office and enhance your employees' well-being. Here are two key tips to consider. 

 

→ In most cases, one pod is not enough:

Believe it or not, one of the classic mistakes our clients make is that they believe one pod will magically solve all their problems. But the truth is that an acoustic pod is not magic. It’s almost impossible to utilize one pod as a soundproof phone booth, a place for focused work, and a meeting room all at once. It just doesn’t work. If you choose too few pods, they will always be occupied (unless you are a super-small business). It can even lead to tension between those who want to use the acoustic office booth for a quick but crucial phone call and those who want to use it for several hours of focused work. Make sure you consider what needs your employees have, what pods can meet those needs, and make your purchasing decisions from there

 

→ Consider teams’ varying needs and expectations: 

When you’re deciding on how many of which types of pods your office needs, analyze your teams’ expectations and the nature of each team’s work. There are at least four different purposes pods can serve: quick calls, collaboration, meetings, and concentration. Each purpose requires a different approach. For example, a big sales team would likely require more one-person acoustic booths for making phone calls. On the other hand, a marketing or strategy team needs at least one larger pod to meet and debate over ideas, away from typical office hustle and bustle. If you’re unsure about teams’ needs, try preparing a questionnaire for team members and hear from them directly the kind of space they want and need most.

Pods-Placement

Place your acoustic pods wisely

In the property business the three most important factors to determine a property’s potential are “location, location & location.” You’ve probably heard that before—and the same goes for acoustic pods. In our guide, we cover the subject comprehensively by presenting tips for each function. But for now, let’s look at four basic rules.

 

Keep them close (but not too close):

Most acoustic pods should be located close to potential users to allow comfortable access. This is especially true for pods dedicated to quick phone calls. However, try to make sure you leave at least two meters of space between the pod and the closest workstations. This makes sure the fans’ light whir does not disturb any nearby employees.

 

Give it space: 

Let’s face it, while working on something intense or giving a client an important presentation on Zoom, the last thing you need is a stuffy room. That’s why excellent ventilation is the hidden gem of a quality office pod. It’s an underappreciated, yet often decisive, factor in making the pod interior a comfortable and enjoyable place to spend a few hours.

Here’s an important tip: to ensure that pod fans work optimally, leave at least 20 centimeters of free space above the ceiling and on both sides of the pod walls. Also, avoid putting the pod too close to a window because it can heat up the pod (especially if it’s turned east or south).

 

Use pods as partitions:

Soundproof pods generally provide impeccable acoustics inside. However, note that they also influence acoustics on the outside. Pods can also be perfect partitions to separate zones in your office space. While enabling team members easy access, pods are also very effective sound blockers and provide some privacy for groups in your office.

 

Move them if you want to: 

Of course, placing a pod is not a lifelong decision. In a dynamic business environment, you may be required to reconfigure your office. After all, change is a natural element of progress. Therefore, it’s probably good news that moving the pod doesn’t have to be an all-day job. There are plenty of pods on the market (including our Space) with additional casters built-in so moving them and rearranging them is super simple.

Make acoustic pods part of an office well-being policy

The hardest part is over after buying and placing pods, but… we are not through yet. Think of what you can do to introduce pods to your employees properly. It doesn’t have to be a huge and elaborate plan. A few smart and easy actions will let you make the pods an integral part of your employee satisfaction strategy. You can base it on our 3-step plan outlined below.

 

Welcome:

Not everyone is familiar with the concept of a pod and its functionalities. Acoustic pods might be a novelty for most people used to traditional office equipment.  At first, some team members might feel apprehensive about using pods. Try to do everything you can to encourage them. You can start by sending a memo around that introduces the pod to your team and spreads awareness about the benefits of excellent acoustics in the workspace. 

 

Educate: 

Put up posters that describe the function of the pod on its walls. For example, on the pod dedicated to quick phone calls, post a sign reminding everyone to keep their pod time short and sweet. On a pod dedicated to meetings, it would be helpful to remind people that the pod is included in the online booking system and that you should make sure it’s free to use before dropping in.

 

Check and analyze:

Monitor how every pod is used. After teams have used the pods for a few months, send out a survey that asks employees about their thoughts and feedback on pod functionality and placement.

 

Move them if you want to: 

Of course, placing a pod is not a lifelong decision. In a dynamic business environment, you may be required to reconfigure your office. After all, change is a natural element of progress. Therefore, it’s probably good news that moving the pod doesn’t have to be an all-day job. There are plenty of pods on the market (including our Space) with additional casters built-in so moving them and rearranging them is super simple.

 

Enjoyed these quick tips and want to learn more?

We believe acoustic pods are tools that, with smart use, can single-handedly transform your office into a better, more productive, and more joyful place. If you are eager to learn more, check out the complete Acoustic Pods Consumer Guide here.

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Wutkowski Conference Room
Widex – the single world leading manufacturer of the hearing aids raised the quality index by seven percentage points using a mix of our top sound absorbers and privacy screens solutions.

Office distractions are the “elephant in the room” of the modern workplace. Nearly three out of four workers admit feeling distracted while on the job, but very few people bring up the problem to their managers. Let’s face it: if you are reading this article at your office, you will probably get distracted at least once in the process.

Is there a solution to office distractions? In the previous article, we proposed several ideas, and, unsurprisingly, one of those suggestions was to use acoustic pods as a place for focused and creative work. Today, we’ll dive a bit deeper into how to fully utilize acoustic pods, including where to place them for maximum efficiency and productivity. We’re sure these tips will help you create cozy shelters for employees who need a place to focus. Let’s start!

This article is a part of the Acoustic Pods Consumers Guide, which we created to address the most crucial questions about acoustic pods. The guide walks you through how to choose the right pod, place it within your office and introduce it to your team. Download your guide here.

Don't put pods too close to workstations 

While some soundproof pods can be placed close to workstations for easy access, pods purchased specifically to provide spaces for focused work need to be located further away. There are three main reasons for this: 

→  To escape distractions: When you want to finish an important task - like a presentation, data analysis, or a blog post -  it's best to sit down in a secluded place to focus. It’s simple: the further you go from your desk, the less likely your colleagues will drop by to ask about something or to show you the latest meme. Ideally, try to cut off all electronic distractors like emails and social media for a while to give your full attention to the task.

→  To boost creativity: It’s scientifically proven that walking boosts creative thinking. Researchers from Stanford University found that the creative thinking of people while walking was 60 percent higher compared to those same people while sitting (Steve Jobs, known for his “walking brainstorms” would probably agree). We all know that the idea of dragging your laptop through the whole office doesn't sound great to you. However, a brief walk across the office could help you come up with more innovative ideas. 

→  To use the Commitment RuleBuilding on the suggestion to walk a bit further from your desk, the more time and effort you put into getting to another part of the office for focused work, the higher your chances of staying put and finishing the task. 

It's a trick based on the "effect of commitment", one of the six popular psychological rules coined by psychologist Robert Cialdini. The rule states that once we make a decision and take the first steps towards that decision, we feel internal pressure to behave consistently with that call. A few extra steps could work wonders and make the time spent inside more effective. 

Space M Corner

Group pods together to create "Focus Valley" 

It’s invaluable when an employee is always sure that he has his own private workspace whenever he needs it. That’s why it’s better to have more than just one pod dedicated to focused work in the office, so more employees have a chance to use them. Consider creating a “Focus Valley” by grouping these pods together and away from the office’s main workstation areas. It could be some less-visited office alley or a part of a corridor. 

Remember to leave at least 20 centimeters of free space above the pod’s ceiling and on both sides of the pod walls to ensure that pod’s fans work properly. You can also display posters on the pods’ walls that reinforce their function as areas of focus. It can be helpful to assign your pods with a specific purpose so employees make the most of them.

Pod Placement Space L

Use the pods as "deep work" chambers

Deep work is a state of distraction-free concentration when your brain operates at its full potential. This level of focus allows you to work more efficiently, especially when it comes to learning challenging concepts more quickly or producing high-quality work.

How can you achieve a state of “deep work”? There are plenty of easy-to-implement guidelines, mainly regarding organizing your work, scheduling time, and training your brain to develop certain habits. Many of them point out that it's essential to prepare a set of rituals before you start deep work. Going to a specially prepared, sound-isolated place, like an acoustic pod, could be one such ritual. Consider encouraging employees to block out time for "deep work" once a week. It will give them a window to concentrate on the task and signal to colleagues that they are unavailable. Moreover, it will help them plan their work better.

Want to learn more? 

We believe acoustic pods are tools that, with smart use, can single-handedly transform your office into a better, more productive, and more joyful place. If you are eager to learn more, check out the complete Acoustic Pods Consumer Guide here.

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Widex – the single world leading manufacturer of the hearing aids raised the quality index by seven percentage points using a mix of our top sound absorbers and privacy screens solutions.
Showroom-Karlshure-Germany

We are excited to present the new base for our acoustic products. From now on, you can visit the futureoffice showroom in Karlsruhe to experience the quality of our soundproof pods, sound absorbers, and acoustic lighting. Come over and get inspired! 

If you want to see how our tools for #GoodWorkspaceEnergy work in practice, that’s the spot you are looking for. Located in a historic building near the center of Karlsruhe, futureoffice Showroom is the place where you will find almost every product from our offer. However, if you are unable to visit Karlsruhe, don’t’ worry, we will guide you through it virtually. So, let’s start! 

Showroom-Karlshure-Germany

What’s up there to see in particular? First of all Space L Meeting - a mobile and functional acoustic pod - a place to plan, create, and debate. The soundproof pod comes with 2 comfortable sofas with or without an armrest to take a seat and dive into productive conversations. The sliding and adjustable tabletop provides additional comfort.

Showroom-Karlshure-Germany

What’s more? Take a look at Blocks on the right picture - high-quality sound absorbers, an excellent choice to prevent sound reflections from walls or ceilings. It comes in 6 classic geometrical shapes and various sizes. Blocks work perfectly in open-plan offices. That roundly shaped miracle you see on the left is Booth - an ideal tool to create a quiet zone for your phone calls. Works great in noisy open plan areas or busy office corridors.

Karlsruhe showroom is a home for even more Mute’s acoustic products. So, if you are nearby make sure to book a visit. 

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Widex – the single world leading manufacturer of the hearing aids raised the quality index by seven percentage points using a mix of our top sound absorbers and privacy screens solutions.
Acoustics Jargon - Sound Waves Animation

Have you ever wondered what the difference is between sound frequency and sound level? Do you know what the Lombard effect is? If you don’t have a clue, don’t worry, because today we’re carrying on with our Jargon Buster series. 

In the last article, we broke down lighting industry jargon. This time, we’re talking about six of the most common terms used in acoustics. As always, we promise to avoid the overly complex, scientific mumbo-jumbo. Let’s start! 

Sound

What is sound itself? Sound is a variation in air pressure that ears can detect. A sound source (for example, your mouth while speaking) emits air pressure changes that travel as a sound wave at a speed of approximately 340 meters per second. When energy from the sound source reaches the eardrum, sensitive bones within it vibrate, and the auditory nerve signals to the brain that we’re hearing something.

Did you know? 

Sound waves travel much faster in water than they do in air. Sound travels 4.3 times faster in water than it does in air of the same temperature. That’s why water animals, like dolphins, can communicate over such long distances (up to 10 kilometers).  

Conference room - Sound Waves Animation

dB

dB, or decibel, is the unit of measurement for sound pressure.  It refers to what we perceive as “loudness.” So, when acoustics professionals talk about how “loud” a room is, they are referring to its decibel level. What’s most important to know here is that sound pressure isn’t measured on a linear scale because an ear’s reaction to changes in sound energy is not linear. 

For example, in very quiet surroundings, even a tiny change in sound pressure is noticeable and enables us to hear a change in loudness. In a very noisy space, on the other hand, we need to increase a sound’s energy level much more to detect the difference. That’s why a decibel scale is not linear; it better mirrors the function and characteristics of our ears. Here’s another example: to increase the sound level by 10dB—from 40dB (a small refrigerator) to 50db (an average conversation) — we need 10 times more sound energy. A 10dB increase corresponds to a doubling of loudness.

Did you know?

The term “decibel” is derived from the name of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. 

 

Reverberation Time

When a sound wave strikes a hard surface, like concrete or glass, it is reflected and gradually loses its energy. This results in an effect called reverberation. Reverberation time is the length of time that it takes for a sound to reach complete silence after its initiation. 

In rooms with excessive reverberation, we often feel uncomfortable, especially during longer conversations. Give it a try. How does a 4-way conversation in a small bathroom sound after a while? You will quickly notice that the words you hear are unclear and seem too loud. That is because different sound waves mix together as they are reflected by the hard materials in the room. Sometimes, to be heard better, you instinctively raise your voice, but it only makes things worse. 

To prevent that effect and to communicate more clearly, you can make sure that office spaces, like conference rooms and rooms dedicated to making video calls, have short reverberation times. 

Did you know? 

The optimal reverberation time depends on the intended use of a room. For a conference room, it is recommended to keep the reverberation time between 0.5 and 1.0 seconds. In open spaces, the reverberation time should be lower, between 0.4 and 0.6 seconds, because there are more potential sound sources. Keeping the reverberation time in a big conference room too low, however, can also lead to some acoustic problems. For example, those in the back of a room might struggle to hear a speaker at the front. 

Sound Noise Paperclip Image

Noise

Noise is a general term to describe all unwanted, unnecessary or disruptive sounds, such as background chatter, alarms, telephone conversations, buzzing electronic devices and sounds from the street. Being in a noisy environment can reduce concentration, increase workplace risks and, in the long run, even create health problems.

Did you know?

The energy of an acoustic wave can be absorbed, reflected, or transmitted. The extent to which the energy is absorbed, reflected, or transmitted depends on the barrier’s material composition. Hard surfaces (like concrete or glass) reflect acoustic energy, whereas porous materials will absorb most of it. To reduce the noise level, you have to absorb as much sound energy as possible by using specially designed porous materials.

 

Sound Absorption

Sound absorption is the ability of a given material to partially block the energy of a sound wave and turn it into unnoticeable thermal energy. Sound absorption is used mostly in products dedicated to limiting the reverberation time inside a room. By placing sound absorbing materials on walls, ceilings or in corners you can make your room quieter and cozier.

Absorption is measured according to the ISO 354 norm and expressed as the sound absorption coefficient αw, with a value between 0 (total reflection) and 1 (total absorption), and corresponding classes A–E. Class A represents the highest quality and E, the lowest:

Did you know?

Five of our products have Class A sound absorption properties, which means these products offer top-quality sound absorption that effectively reduces reverberations that could cause distraction:

Tower

Blocks

Print

Puzzle

Canvas

Office Wellbeing - Mute Mist Lamp Drawing

Sound Attenuation

To put it simply, sound attenuation describes a reduction in sound volume. A product that supports sound attenuation, therefore, helps reduce the energy of a sound wave as it travels through a particular space (for example, the voice of a chatty colleague from another department in your open-plan office). The rule is simple: the more you reduce the sound in different parts of the space, the more (acoustically) comfortable the space is. This comfort supports productivity because it can reduce noise and distraction. Acoustic products like walls and partitions provide high-quality sound attenuation. Instead of absorbing sound, they capture it, acting as acoustic barriers between different areas of the room.

Did you know? 

We offer a wide range of products that support sound attenuation:

Cone 

Booth 

Duo 

Wall

 

Lombard Effect

The Lombard effect describes our tendency to increase the volume of our voice in a loud environment. We do so because we think that we will become more audible to others. What’s interesting is that the change occurs in both loudness and other acoustic features like pitch rate and syllable duration. 

Did you know? 

Research on birds and monkeys has demonstrated that the effect also occurs in the animal kingdom. 

 

Now that you know the acoustics essentials find out how to improve office acoustics with these Mute products. Or check out our article, “Well-Being Boosters: 4 Reasons to Improve the Acoustics in Your Office”, to see how acoustic solutions can influence your team’s well-being and productivity.

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