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Providing quiet spots to work, TaskPod cubes pop up across Australia

Sure, hybrid employees and solopreneurs can work from anywhere, but sometimes the bedroom office or cafe won't cut it, and they just need a quiet place to take a call, jump on Zoom or tackle their to-do list. Especially when they're on the go. To fill that gap, TaskPod is installing insulated, stand-alone workspaces in public spaces across Australia.

Each TaskPod contains a desk and a chair and offers wifi, power outlets and a USB charging port. The XL version can seat up to four people at a larger table. The pods are cleaned daily and fitted with fans for ventilation and air purifiers to eliminate bacteria and viruses.

Pricing is AUD 3.75 per 15-minute slot, paid via TaskPod's app, which is also used to unlock the pod. The startup offers corporate accounts, too. Units are being placed in shopping centers, transport hubs and airports, as well as in office and hotel lobbies.

Sleek white and glass booth containing table and 4 chairs

TaskPod's Adelaide-based founders also operate Bureau Booths, which are similar acoustic booths that companies can place in their own (open) offices to provide employees with a soundproofed spot for deep work, meetings, calls or recording podcasts. Bureau Booths come in four sizes, from a one-person phone booth to a six-person meeting room. The units can be assembled in a matter of hours.

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As work is increasingly disconnected from fixed times and places, workers need spaces and services that facilitate that fluidity. Whether they're in transit between clients, want to escape distractions at home or need to squeeze in a video call while out running errands, a third-place-of-their-own like TaskPod can serve as a temporary haven. Conversely, adding focus pods and small conference rooms to offices — for which Bureau Booths are an easy and portable option — helps make the most of everyone's time when employees are on-site.

Related: Chilean city installs cabins in park as offices for small businessesIn Montreal, 23 free outdoor workstations pop up for hybrid workers

Innovation of the day

Spotted by: Franziska Füsting