Peace In A Pod: Meditation Finally Gets To Work For Wellbeing

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OpenSeed has launched fully enclosed, tech-powered meditation pods to help busy people find moments of calm during the day (Image: OpenSeed).
  • OpenSeed has launched meditation pods for high-traffic spaces, like workplaces.
  • It combines a range of high-tech features and can be used by both individuals and teams.
  • The meditation pods reportedly increase wellbeing and productivity for workers.

The wave of wellness continues to sweep across our workplaces, addressing today’s stress epidemic with an increasing range of amenities.

Meditation, in particular, promises to relieve many of the stresses associated with our modern-day working lives. For example, research reveals just one 15-minute session can reduce mind-wandering, helping to boost your focus and productivity. Further studies reveal that meditation can reduce irritability by 27% and aggression by 57%.

But, if you work in an open-plan office and/or struggle to get a minute to yourself, you may think meditation isn’t a viable option for your place of work. However, a company called OpenSeed has come up with a novel solution — meditation pods.

These tech-powered pods are designed to provide moments of calm in noisy environments, like your open-plan office. The pods feature guided meditations, integrated sound therapy, aromatherapy and ambient lighting to help you zone out.

OpenSeed’s quiet relaxation pods are currently in use in coworking spaces and conventional hall expos (Image: OpenSeed)

The pods have been placed in coworking spaces, convention hall expos, and will also be distributed to office spaces, airport lounges, and shopping centres in 2020.

The company estimates half of its pods are used by individuals and half are used for group sessions, including for conflict resolution, pre-brainstorming alignment, and team-building exercises. 

During a 10-month pilot, 91% of individuals using the pods reported feeling “significantly” more relaxed after a 15-minute session.

I spoke to OpenSeed’s CEO and founder, Jonathan Marcoschamer to find out more:

Allwork.Space: Why is meditation important in the workplace?

Jonathan Marcoschamer: We all know that technology is evolving so rapidly and disrupting every facet of our professional and personal lives. Social media, advertisers, our colleagues, friends and our personal lives are constantly competing for our attention in real-time. 

Since it is generally difficult for people to adapt to change, we need new tools and skills to upgrade our own internal and interconnected “operating system” — the body, mind, and spirit. Meditation is a crucial skill that everyone should learn and practice on a daily basis. It may even be required in many workplaces.

Meditation teaches you to be more calm and focused and less reactive. For the workplace, it also helps to cultivate compassion and empathy, which are positive emotions that are crucial for conflict resolution. Being in a heightened state of awareness also boosts creativity and fuels productivity.

OpenSeed’s CEO and founder, Jonathan Marcoschamer (Image: OpenSeed)

Allwork.Space: In particular, are there any specific benefits of your pods in the flexible workspace market?

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Quiet and isolated environments have grown in popularity In the modern open-plan office spaces and in flexible workspaces. We’ve designed a micro-environment that induces calm as soon as you step inside.  

In this isolated environment, uninterrupted by any visual distractions, an individual has a greater potential to quiet the mind and restore calm, focus, clarity, and positive energy. The soft sound-insulating materials block noise from the outside while four silent fans keep the air circulating and fresh inside the pod. As you sit inside, the dimensions, lighting, and sounds give you a womb-like experience with a sense of comfort, privacy, and spaciousness. 

After activating a session from the main menu on the 15-inch monitor inside the pod, you begin to follow the guided meditations and absorb the therapeutic sound vibrations that entrain your mind to the lower alpha and theta brainwave frequencies associated with deep states of relaxation. Convenient placement of essential oils for aromatherapy applications give you an instant dose of medicine that lets you go deeper.

Allwork.Space: What sort of responses have you received from your customers?

Since we are a B2B business, our customers are workplace designers, interior designers, facility managers, wellness directors, and other decision-makers within the flexible workspace, hospitality, corporate wellness, and retail markets. 

The overall response has been very positive as the pod addresses many pain points and questions they are currently trying to solve. For example: How do we integrate mindfulness in the workplace? How can we create spaces that are conducive to meditation without having to lose an existing conference room or office space? How do we make our wellness initiatives “visual” in a way that encourages consistent practice and promotes our workplace culture?

From the end-user perspective, the response has been incredible. The pod attracts a wide spectrum of users, from beginners to seasoned meditation practitioners. 

Beginners usually state that they have tried meditation through apps or live classes, but have never been able to get into it nor maintain a consistent practice. The pod has been a great gateway to a state of total stillness, where beginners experience a heightened sense of awareness, which leads to more focus, clarity, and a more relaxed and joyful perspective on life.  

The pod offers a quiet and isolated environment for quiet meditation during the working day (Image: OpenSeed)

Allwork.Space: What plans do you have for OpenSeed over the next few months/years?

We will continue to create tech-powered microenvironments that facilitate access to elevated states of consciousness. We follow the latest research on meditation, neuroscience, technology, as well as the convergence of spiritual practices and medicine to create a hardware and software platform that is open and effective for everyone.  

Using biofeedback devices, we will capture useful data and through artificial intelligence, our customers will be able to receive personalised experiences, have live and on-demand sessions with their choice of coaches and to continuously help them grow and thrive.

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