Our founders - Endrus Arge, Sparry Kivilo and Henri Rüüsak - couldn’t believe how much noise one or two people could make in a small office.
Loud phone calls and noisy conversations travelled fast across an open plan office. How was anyone supposed to concentrate with all that background noise?
Endrus, Sparry and Henri had started their first company – Wallenium – a manufacturer of custom soundproof partition walls. But they realised it wasn’t enough to put a partition wall between you and the sales guy shouting to a customer over a dodgy mobile signal. If you needed thinking space for uninterrupted work, you needed wrap-around soundproofing.
So the founders began playing around with the idea of a soundproof pod.
They needed to create a space where you can escape office distractions for meetings, take phone calls and write reports.
The prototype Silen Space pod
was created and shown off at the 2007 Stockholm Furniture Fair.
Then the global financial crisis struck. Wallenium put R&D on hold and concentrated on keeping the business afloat.
Endrus was sitting in his kitchen in 2017 battling a nasty bout of the flu when he had a breakthrough.
He realised that the core limitation of the prototype was its lack of flexibility. If he could create a space that was soundproof, moveable and adjustable, a huge issue facing open-plan offices would be addressed.
A few days later, and having fully recovered, Endrus presented the initial sketches
to the team and R&D was restarted.
Twelve years after the first concept was born, the new and improved Silen Spaces were unveiled to the world.
Nobody had seen anything like the Silen Space range before. The soundproofing was incredible. People who stepped inside a pod could hardly believe their ears: the noise of the busy trade fair outside the pod just melted away.
And we were offering much more than a cramped “phone kiosk” that felt more like a punishment cell than a place you’d choose to work. The Silen range could be adapted for one person or a team of eight; they could be wheeled into different positions and joined up with other pods.
At the Stockholm Furniture Fair in 2019 we had our toughest test.
A small group of buyers asked Sparry if they could try a pod.
“Thank you,” they said. “We won’t tell you who we are, but we might come back tomorrow”.
Sparry followed the group round the Fair, and watched as they carried out the same tests with each of our competitors.
The next day the mystery buyers returned. “We’re from Spotify”, they said. “Your pods provide the best soundproofing we’ve found. We’d like to buy all the units you have on show.”
What started out as just another year, was turned upside down by the Covid-19 pandemic. Within a short period of time, people stopped working in offices and had to look over their expenses.
That, of course, affected us as well. But we couldn’t just stand there and hope that things will get better and started acting. Very soon after we launched a new product range, Chatbox by Silen, that could fit in the home office, was easier to assemble, and what’s most important, had a web shop for quicker and simpler orders.
Meanwhile, our flagship Silen Space range was adjusted accordingly by a new concept – Safe Workplace by Silen. It includes an antibacterial exterior and interior, a special HEPA air filter, and secure door handles.
Fortunately, the next year worked in our favour. After our orders skyrocketed, we had to carry out a thought we had had for a long time – move to a new, bigger factory.
Starting autumn, Silen recruited many new employees to manufacture a lot more office pods than ever before.
However, the impact Covid-19 had on people’s mental health couldn’t be left unnoticed. That’s when we shook hands with Synctuiton, the experts in the mindfulness field, to create a unique product – MindSpa. The world’s first relaxation booth helps rejuvenate in only 25 minutes. Just a few months after the launch we received an Innovation award for it by the elite North American Best of NeoCon competition.
Around the same time, we launched something else the world had not seen before – Silenbooking. It is a platform where you can book a Silen Space to work anywhere (e.g., cafe, mall, other public areas). All the Spaces come with verifiably secure WiFi, adjustable monitors, frosted privacy screens, and the same top-notch acoustics and ventilation all our products are known for.
CarbonNeutral® certified office pods. One of our biggest achievements in 2022 was becoming the first office pod producer to achieve CarbonNeutral® certification for all of our products.
This certification is a testament to our commitment to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint. To achieve CarbonNeutral® certification, we calculated the carbon footprint of our products and reduced it to zero through a combination of in-house efficiency measures, the use of renewable energy, and support of external emissions reduction projects. This certification means that Silen has followed The Carbon Neutral Protocol and made a clear, credible, and transparent claim of our carbon neutral action.
Launch of Space Hybrid range & two Innovation awards at NeoCon.
At Silen, inclusivity has always been close to our hearts. That’s why we are proud to be the first office pod producer to launch a complete range of wheelchair-friendly office pods. Our Space Hybrid range was launched at the biggest contract interior event in North America, NeoCon Chicago, in June 2022. Our efforts towards inclusivity were recognised, and for the second year in a row, we were awarded the prestigious NeoCon Innovation Award. In 2021, we won the same award for our MindSpa relaxation booth. In addition to that, we were also honoured with the NeoCon Business Innovation Award, given to companies whose solutions contribute to a more successful organisation and a better-built environment. The jury comprised journalists from renowned publications like Fast Company, The Economist, The New York Times, and Forbes.
Launch of Silen Dynamics generation of pods.
Silen Dynamics is our response to the constantly changing world, where nothing might be the same tomorrow. This concept allows users to exchange the cover skins of their pods at any time. As flexibility, modularity and adaptivity are in our DNA, it is now time to take it to another level. Redesigning your office will not require you to purchase a new pod, you can simply order a new cover. This in turn extends the lifetime of products, which in turn contributes to our sustainability goals. It will also make production planning easier; our distributors have better options for stocking up the products and clients benefit from shorter lead times.
Launch of Silen Outdoor.
As the first office pod producer, Silen has created a meeting pod for the outdoors that offers you a perfect indoor climate no matter the weather outside. Meet, work and create in the place most desirable for you. Either in the snowy wilderness, green business parks, or hot pavements of a mid-summer city, the new Silen Outdoor pod offers you a comfortable and functional space to bring your ideas to life. The pod is delivered as a pre-assembled Plug&Play solution. The rigid steel structure makes it easy to lift, transport, and relocate.
Currently Silen sales network spreads over 6 continents with over 100 dealers in 55 countries.
You. The customer. We have all worked in an environment that does not allow for focus, and we know how damaging it can be not only on your performance, but also your wellbeing.
We create office solutions that allow you to work more effectively. Our Spaces reduce sound like no other, which means that you experience:
By moving the noise (or yourself) into the Space, disturbances will be reduced.
Because regaining your focus after a distraction is difficult.
Because we all work better in silence.
With a heavy focus on design and the highest-quality materials. We have a strong engineering and design team who are ruthless in leaving no stone unturned and looking for the most optimal solution.
We know how important silence is in the workplace because our sales team are a very loud group. In fact, they ring a cowbell whenever they close a deal. This is what it sounds like in the office: