Stop by some of the newest airport lounges of Cathay Pacific, Singapore Airlines and United Airlines and you'll spy a special breed of furniture made with today's business traveller in mind.
It's the work pod: a custom-designed seat which doubles as a temporary pre-flight workspace.
That means a wide, comfortable seat with surrounding walls for privacy; a table where your laptop or tablet can fit alongside a meal or a drink, and AC power sockets within easy reach.
Cathay Pacific Solus
Cathay Pacific kicked off the trend with its original Solus chair, created for the airline's previous generation of lounges by London-based Foster + Partners and Italian luxury furniture manufacturer Poltrona Frau.
Wrapped in a futuristic shell and able to nestle into a corner of the lounge or grouped together in a cluster, the Solus workstation was seen as a means to provide Cathay's passengers with a sense of their own space within the lounge itself.
However, in practice most travellers found them too cramped – especially when it came to trying to fit anything more than a laptop onto the small table. And its high-tech look was completely out of place with Cathay's shift to a more relaxed and residential lounge design, which led to...
Cathay Pacific Solo
Cathay's new lounge designer Ilse Crawford oversaw an evolution of the no-nonsense Solus into the plushly-padded Solo chair.
The Solo is not only more spacious and open than the tight-fitting Solus cocoon, it meshes perfectly with the relaxed residential vibe of Cathay's latest lounges.
Like its sharply business-minded predecessor, the Solo offers a high-walled nook where travellers can work or relax; each seat has a side table, reading lamp and a coat hook.
Singapore Airlines Productivity Pod
Singapore Airlines' own take on this concept is the high-walled Productivity Pod, which borrows subtle design elements from the airline's latest first class and business class seating.
Each pod features a 'corner' seat wrapped it in a curved partition...
... with a roomy table and conveniently-located AC and USB sockets. This is easily the most spacious airport lounge 'work pod' we've encountered.
United Airlines Polaris Quad
Created by PriestmanGoode, this bespoke seat offers storage for your coat and cabin bag (you can see the bag tucked away next to the passenger – a very thoughtful design indeed) plus a pull-out table with integrated tablet holder, and of course AC/USB charging points plus a personal reading lamp.
Plaza Premium workstations
Many lounges in the pay-in Plaza Premium network have these honeycomb-like workstations – wach with its own bench, reading light and AC/USB power ports:
Plaza Pemium's new-look cubicles are more stylish but perhaps less functional, with a smaller table set off to the side.