Phone Booths are just memories in our head, something that makes us think about the times when only people like Gordon Gekko owned a mobile phone, about hours spent waiting for some guy to put and end to his romantic chitchat. Nowadays we see just a few of them, usually strategically placed in train stations and airports, but in London phone booths resisted the attack of mobile phones, keeping their iconic design. Of course phone’s booths use has changed and, as everyone who’s been in London in last years knows, their primary role is to collect promotional stickers for the City’s escorts. This is not important: better to find a new use than take out of the streets those beautiful red booths.
Bar Works, a NY based company, came up with a brilliant business idea: to transform phone booths in micro-offices. They ‘ve called them Pod Works and they’ve got enough space to sit a person and giving him access to the basic office’s furniture: Internet, a PC with a 25” display, socket for charging devices and – most important of all – a coffe machine.
The price is incredibly cheap: with 19,99 monthly pounds you’ll get an hour access to any of the 23 booths rented by Bar Works. Cheaper than the weekly Frapuccino at Starbucks, a chain frequently used as a cowering space thank to the free Wi-Fi for clients.
Will Bar Works manage to make money from this idea? That’s difficult to say but we think that more than one businessman will find interest in finding a place to work half an hour without distractions. Think about it: if in Japan people sleep in capsule hotels not bigger than this booths (and of course horizontal), why in UK a person could not spend half an hour in such a small but comfortable place?
Even if the idea will turn not successful, Bar Works managed to make us reflect about the value of a physical place to work, a small place to be alone for a few minutes to get a job done without distractions. Thanks to technology we are always connected and we can work while in vacation on a beach or on the top of a mountain, but we still need a place to think alone for a fee minutes . A small one, just for a few occasion, but we find difficult to renounce to this “luxury”.