I worked inside an 8x8ft box and I actually enjoyed it.
If you’ve ever worked from home you understand the feeling of just needing to get out of the house. As nice as it is to be able to work from home, there are so many possibilities for distractions. Like the food in the kitchen, your comfy bed, screaming children…
OotBox founder Robbie Friedman was in just this situation when he decided to create a workspace in his backyard. He needed an escape from home that wasn’t a coffee shop. He kept that box for a few years and then decided his idea was worth sharing with the community. Now, his innovative work space has been refined and turned into a rentable location that can be placed in any neighborhood. This sounded perfect to me given the amount of money I spend on coffee, so I decided to check it out!
The ootBox is currently located in the parking lot of Art with Anna on Cassady Ave. in Bexley. My stepdad and I rented it for an hour while my sister was at her Art with Anna camp. I rented it again this morning to write this!
The ootBox is a converted shipping container with a table, four chairs, WiFi, outlets, whiteboards, and air conditioning. We were a little skeptical going into this. I don’t love confined spaces and although the giant window helps with that, I was also worried I’d feel like I was on display. You know those gyms that have big front windows and all the treadmills are in front? Yeah, I could never do that.
When we got in the box I was surprised at how cool it was. I was expecting it to feel like a hot car when you open the door but it was surprisingly comfortable and then we could adjust the temperature once we got in there.
The big window was really nice for the confined space problem, and with just the two of us it wasn’t tight at all. I didn’t feel on display like I assumed either but I did feel kinda funny at the fact that I was sitting in a box, but I bet you get used to that.
Currently, this ootBox is a prototype and it will sit there for the rest of the summer. Book online and try it for free. They’ve created two other boxes that have yet to be placed but should go up in the next few weeks. The plan for these boxes is to change their location every couple of weeks based on demand.
The new boxes have screen mounts and are slightly bigger. The Bexley box is a 40ft shipping container cut at 8ft and the new boxes are cut at 10 ft. They also have backlit outside panels to keep the box lit at night.
We worked in the box for one hour and the second time I did two hours. Any longer than that and I think I might go a little stir crazy. The box is perfect when you need to really get something done, but I couldn’t stay in there for a long period of time.
Since it’s only a prototype, Robbie and his team are hoping this summer leads to lots of suggestions for improvement.
My biggest request is faster wifi. Things took a bit of time to load and this definitely slowed down my productivity, but they’re working on fixing this. I’d also like to see a way to leave the door open. Since the box is brand new, it smells like “new”. I tried to leave the door open to get a little fresh air but then the lock started making funny noises so I closed it and locked it.
I appreciate the fact that it does lock from the inside though, if your back is to the door it’s nice to know no one can barge in on you.
Robbie is also looking into renting out the ootBox to corporations or apartment complexes to serve as an amenity. There are no set plans for business use yet, but he said he’s gotten a lot of interest.
Robbie said this whole process is just in the learning stages. The next steps for the boxes will really be determined upon what happens this summer. They started as places for people who work at home to get out, but now Robbie and his team are open all ideas.
If you want to learn more or book your spot in the ootBox, click here!
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