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Back To The Future: Iconic Red Phone Boxes Are Becoming A Modern Place To Office

England’s red phone boxes could soon be tiny office spaces, as modern as any other with printing, scanning, copying and WiFi. Get ready for the extra-cozy new trend in London office design.


Thinking Outside The Box, a charitable trust, submitted plans to transform a BT red phone box in London’s Highgate Village into a micro-office, where people will apply to use the “office pod” at the top of Waterlow Park.

Thinking Outside The Box is submitting applications all over the country—and it isn't the only organization trying to transform the boxes into useful spaces for the community.

NYC-based Bar Works, a company that operates a chain of co-working spaces, plans to launch “Pod Works” in London, Leeds and Edinburgh, using the old BT phone boxes for entrepreneurs constantly on the move. The Pods will be a little more plush than Thinking Outside The Box’s: they’ll include a wireless mouse, 25-inch screen, a bank of chargers and an espresso bar. The concept is to have a convenient place to work before a meeting, when you’re out and about and need to download a presentation, or make a private phone call. 

A fee of £19.99 gives members access to the Pod Works Club and entry to any workstation, any time of the day or night. To ensure security, all pods are outfitted with CCTV and emergency unlock facilities, and the pods will be cleaned daily. The next step for the company is to develop an app so customers can find the nearest phone box.

The company is also planning to turn other BT phone boxes that are no longer in use into workstations and will gradually expand the concept into major cities across the UK.

The Red Kiosk Co works alongside Think Outside The Box, and has a broader definition of workspace. The company set up a pilot in Nottingham to sell coffee and milkshakes from a red phone box, and Spiers Salads sells your fresh five-a-day from the kiosks.