The Office Furniture Warehouse team recently had the opportunity to outfit the customer service department at a residential services firm in Birmingham, AL with a training room and benching workstations.
The project encompassed two spaces that would undergo renovation and have new furniture installed. An existing training room would be reconfigured to make room for ten workstations. A traditional cubicle layout can crowd compact environments, so effective use of space was a priority. Renovation of a warehouse storage environment then made room for a new training space. The space has plentiful floor access to power to facilitate collaboration for a variety of purposes. In order to leverage the accessibility, training room furniture would necessarily be flexible.
The project came about from a need to accommodate the customer care department & plan for growth. The workstations would necessarily be compact, but had to provide adequate storage & work space for each individual. The staff of ten is expected to grow, so the scalability of the work area was also a factor. Part of that growth strategy is effective internal branding, which is a more pertinent consideration than ever. A well-branded work environment is an effective tool in “reinforcing the external brand message through the organization’s ambassadors – the workforce.”
In order to maximize effective space utilization, we created a series of benching workstations. Benching systems are an open-plan concept that seat people in close proximity with few partitions, often facing the same direction. Ten workstations against each wall provide sufficient space for individual work area and storage, and will accommodate future expansion.
Since the benching workstations have shared, open work surfaces, individual workstations are mostly defined by their storage. Each employee has overhead storage above custom tack boards, complemented by a pedestal file cabinet underneath. The work surfaces are outfitted with articulating monitor mounts so individuals can set their optimal screen angle and position.
In order to cultivate a flexible work environment in the new training space, we focused on mobility and space utilization. The training tables and chairs are both mobile and nesting: easily reconfigured for different purposes, easily stored when there’s no purpose. Mobility also means the floor access to power can be effectively leveraged with little effort. This allows occupants to focus on their work instead of their work environment.