Demand for private work booths is on the rise in Japan — a response to changes in working styles and environments.

The number of people who use private work booths at stations and commercial facilities is increasing, reflecting diversifying work styles that have become more common since the pandemic.

Fujifilm Business Innovation and Tokyo Metro are working together to set up CocoDesk private work booths at locations such as subway stations.

CocoDesk, offering a power supply and computer monitor, can be used for ¥275 per 15 minutes. With the recovery in the number of people going out, the operating rate in December last year doubled from a year before.

The two companies intend to increase the number of such booths in subway stations to 72 by mid-March, up about 1.3 times from December.

Amid a rise in the number of companies introducing hot-desk systems, private booths are also increasingly used at offices to help employees concentrate on tasks and to hold meetings with external staff.

In 2022, sales of Kokuyo's Workpod movable private booth increased 1.7 fold from the previous year.

A new type of Workpod, designed to accommodate multiple people, is also attracting popularity after the rebound in the number of people working in offices.

Kokuyo plans to launch another version of Workpod in May with fewer walls, which is expected to promote office communications.

Late last year, Hitachi launched a lightweight work booth made of sound-absorbing resin. The product "has the plus of being easily portable for greater convenience, even after installation," a Hitachi official said.

Hitachi hopes the product will be installed at sites including universities and hospitals to meet demand from job hunting students and patients, respectively.