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Napping Closets and Toll Booth Gardens: Reinventing the Modern Workplace

Steven M. Johnson presents not-so-ridiculous ideas for where you work.

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A soundproof retreat room gives teachers a brief respite from the chatter of students. A napping locker lets employees rest up before a big client meeting. And for toll booth workers, the oxygen-enriching environment of a microgarden makes their tiny box a pleasant place to work. These are all equal parts silly and insightful ideas for how to improve the workplace, by illustrator Steven M. Johnson.

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As part of GOOD’s Work Issue, Johnson concocted a dozen potential scenarios for how the environments of various workers could be improved. While Johnson’s concepts are whimsical, the solutions aren’t far-fetched. Some offices already offer rooms for napping, even if they’re not the sci-fi pod-like variety that Johnson draws. And the thought of turning toll booths into a park-like system of greenhouses is a smart way to protect their inhabitants from toxic fumes — somewhat similar to this real-life plant filter. Some ideas are both solid and do-able, like a station for day laborers that suggests turning a bleak waiting area into a shady park.

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About the author

Alissa is a design writer for publications like Fast Company, GOOD and Dwell who can most often be found in Los Angeles. She likes to walk, ride the bus, and eat gelato

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