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The Drum

Today’s Office: Oliver Bruce on his sound-proof, distraction-proof podcast studio

Bruce has been working from his podcast studio since the start of 2021

Oliver Bruce, founder of content production agency PinPoint Media, has been working from his newly refurbished podcast studio after deciding a foamed, sound-proofed room would help him focus more than a glass, open plan office.

With the world still working from, in late-2020 I decided it would be a smart idea to renovate our offices. This was, in part, a good idea – however, rather obviously in hindsight, it meant my ‘office’ became something of a building site…

Over the last two months, my place of work has been a dusty, half-built shell with cables and carpet in random areas – not somewhere one would immediately imagine creativity or growth to stem from.

Thankfully, however, as I write this, I sit in a padded room with foam from floor to ceiling – and no, it’s not a jail cell, it’s our new podcast studio and I can tell you now it’s far better than the building site.

As content becomes ever more abundant our client base grows, so as a business we’ve been expanding rapidly amid coronavirus. Part of this expansion has meant investing in a facelift not only for the office but the brand too. It has also meant having a lot of fun along the way, building out some rather awesome studios for our clients to play in once this is all over.

One of these recording studios has, for the interim, become my new part-time office. I thought ’why not?’ While the team are away the boss shall play – that’s the saying, right?

With each wall padded with foam to absorb echo, a large 75inch screen on the wall, two studio speakers and four podcast microphones, walking into the ‘office’ each morning feels like I am about to present the morning breakfast show to the nation. It’s worlds apart from the normal desk and glass office, but I rather like it!

For me, the reason I continue to go to the office (or studio) is more because I am a creature of habit – that and I am unable to work from home ever since my girlfriend has taken over every inch of the flat for her own workspace. Needs must I suppose.

With each day starting at 5.30am (ish), I tend to have most of my energy and certainly the greatest amount of patience before noon. My complex, high IQ tasks are ones I try to push through as early as possible in the day, with less strenuous tasks being scheduled for the afternoon.

Remarkably over the last few weeks since working from the studio, I have noticed time slipping away. It’s incredibly surreal working in a location with no windows, no noticeable echo and no clock.

My only reference to what time of day it is occurs when I go to get a coffee or glance up at the clock in the top right of my screen – if not for that, I could be anywhere in the world at any time of day.

What has struck me, however, about working in such a measured environment is just how much more focus I have, and how incredibly productive my days are.

There are no distractions in sight out of the window, no questions from passing team members and no cars beeping outside. While I couldn’t work in a foam box forever, I have to say it has been quite nice for a change.

With light at the end of the tunnel and the easing of lockdown only weeks away, the studio I frequent so often will soon be buzzing with vibrant creatives thrashing ideas around.

At least, this is what I am hoping for, now that we have an all-singing all-dancing coffee machine. There really is no excuse.