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The Finnish Framery unveils a new office pod with a personal effect

If you work with other people – and most of us do – chances are you spend a lot of your time in meetings. Before COVID-19, you would expect most meetings to be held in person, and business travel was much more productive than today.

The pandemic changed that dynamic beyond recognition, as both startups and corporates suddenly discovered that many things can actually be discussed and resolved in a video call. Combined with the fact that people are generally reluctant to return to the office, this has ushered in an era of telepresence, where at least 84% of meetings (or even 98% depending on who you listen to) have at least one external participant.

But spending much of your meeting time looking at the screen is exhausting, and the rapport established in a Zoom meeting is nothing like what you might expect in person. In an effort to address this problem, the Finland-based office pod pioneer Framery has just unveiled Framery Contact, an indoor call booth aimed at mimicking an IRL meeting as closely as possible.

Best suited for one-on-one meetings, the Contact is essentially a darkened office pod with a large high-quality 4K screen, strategically placed lighting and a camera with a mirror system that gives the feeling of good eye contact.

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A few weeks before the official unveiling, TNW (represented by yours truly) went to Tampere, Finland to experience the pod and learn more about Framery’s journey leading up to its creation. (Disclosure: Travel and accommodation for the trip were covered by Framery. The company had no editorial influence on this story and did not see it prior to publication.)

Silence is golden

Founded in 2010 in Tampere, about two hours north of Helsinki, Framery started as a passion project of two young boys whose manager insisted on making loud sales calls in their open plan office. One of the guys, the company’s CEO, Samu Hällfors, says the company became the world’s first and largest producer of truly soundproof office pods. From its first single-person cabin, Framery O, the startup has expanded its offerings over the years to include the four-person Q and six-person 2Q models.

In 2021, the company also unveiled Framery One, a version of the single pod with advanced connectivity options, built-in occupancy sensors and calendar integration capabilities, allowing it to be booked in the same way as a conference room. Since then, the Finns have worked hard on the software part of the product, which is intended to give HR or building managers insight into the use of the pods.

Framery office building in Tampere