Panasonic recently announced an installable cubicle for those who are working at home during the pandemic. Another Japanese company, Pia Living, also leveled-up working from home into a small, soundproof room called the Otegaroom.

Otegaroom: Soundproof Room for Remote Work & School
(Photo: Screenshot from Pia Living Website)

'Otegaru' is derived from the Japanese word meaning simple or cheap. The room includes a table, a ventilation fan, LED lighting, and completely soundproof. It is currently priced at about $1,800 at 6.5 feet tall and can be assembled within an hour.

Currently, they are only available in Japan and comes in bitter brown or antique white. The soundproof room is especially for those working at home who live with their families, children, and pets who may often interrupt Zoom meetings.

The walls have insulation in between the board to absorb sound from inside while keeping external noise from entering in. There are also holes on the top side of the board above the small desk for an extension cord and other electrical cords to fit.

Remote Work and School

Companies around the world had opted for work at home due to the pandemic. Even with lockdown measures lifted, some corporations have even allowed employees to work from home permanently.

In the United States, millions of employees have switched to remote work, and some company executives reported that their workforce became 'more productive' during the pandemic. In the Remote Work Survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than 50 percent of employees will be given a chance to work from home or remotely at least once a week after the pandemic.

It's also similar for students who have been adjusting to virtual classrooms. Although campuses have reopened in several states, some parents still refuse to send their kids to in-person classes. Also, campuses have had to shut down due to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Professor Glen Kreiner from the University of Utah David Eccles School of Business said that it is expected for employees to find "a lot of positive benefit within the new arrangement" of remote work. Previously, many companies did not want to progress into teleworking and had worried about employee behavior. "Now, it's been forced on so many people, and managers' concerns have been thrown out the window."

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The Remote Work Environment

However, not everyone had benefited from the remote work scenario, and millions of people around the world have lost their jobs because of coronavirus. A lot of the issues with those who switched to remote work depending on the level of the employee as an individual shared Kreiner.

Some people do not thrive in a remote work environment and 'need structure, a designated workspace, and the feeling of nearby support.' Those that have done well with adjusting to remote work and work from home 'excel at self-monitoring, doing their lists and scheduling time will probably be successful working remotely,' Kreiner said.

Challenges at home can also determine if an employee can do well with working at home. The physical space and who you live with at home are also factors that need to be managed at this time.

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Check out more news and information on Working From Home on Science Times.