Equitas Management Group, LLC is a full-service development company that partners with clients to meet their development and construction needs by offering site selection, due diligence, financing, property acquisition, entitlements, planning, design & construction management. Based in Chattanooga, TN, Equitas specializes in retail, multi-unit and industrial build-to-suit projects across the country.
A member of Equitas’ management team contacted Office Furniture Warehouse about a need for contemporary workstations in a developing workspace for a team of engineers and managers.
First come the people – identifying how to support the productivity of the office inhabitants while furthering the objectives of the management team. Working with our point of contact, we outlined the types of work and flows of information that the office’s design needed to support. We find that, while we’re usually working with a member of management teams, creating a solution around the end-user(s) results in high satisfaction for the occupants, which flows up to the management responsible for their workspace experience.
Next comes the space, which was in the midst of a buildout – applying finishes and adding partitions to create private offices. While we’re no stranger to working around construction schedules, the big caveat was the recent acquisition of an adjoining space. The decision was made to combine the spaces and add to the original installation by Office Furniture Warehouse, creating an office with a collaborative workstation bullpen encircled by private offices.
“We obtained a new space that we needed to move into on short notice. Since we knew this would only be a temporary space, we needed to create work areas that were functional but stayed within a tight budget, and we needed it to be ready to move into as quickly as possible. We also wanted to provide a modicum of privacy, yet use the entire space as efficiently as possible.”
– Kimberly Graves | Equitas
Objectives & Challenges
Having considered the desired outcomes for the inhabitants, the timeline of the remodel, and the impetus to quickly make the space functional while staying within a tight budget, we delineated the objectives to meet and challenges to beat.
Engineers & Managers
We needed to create a workspace that would accommodate engineers’ technical work and organization of numerous ongoing projects at any point. The managers required a greater amount of space for privacy and organization, as well as the support of a collaborative setting while allowing the limited space to remain easily navigable. This entailed furniture space planning to find the optimal arrangement during multiple phases of installation and a needs assessment to tailor the specifications of the office furniture selected to fit the needs of the end-user.
Dynamics of Workspace
The destination of the workstations went through a light remodel to outfit the original offices and a more involved renovation to combine with the adjoining space. There was a gap between the two construction facets of the project, during which the occupants of the office space needed to be able to work. The dynamic nature of this project, bound pretty tightly to timeliness and budgeting considerations, meant we had to be as far ahead of the curve as possible. This entailed outlining the project around the schedule of external contractors and being proactive in scheduling – providing accurate lead times, delivery dates and correspondence.
To accommodate the need for a functional workspace as the space was waiting on completion, we planned for the fulfillment of the project in stages. After the initial remodel, a row of workstations were installed for the engineers and two manager’s offices furnished. Although the workspace was destined to change, the occupants had fully functional workstations during the interim period.
Before the renovation took place, we disassembled the installed workstations and stored the components in the private offices to make way for the slew of contractors, protecting them from damage while the buildout was finished.
When the renovation was complete and the spaces combined, we returned to install the workstations in the new bullpen configuration and delivered the remaining office furniture to the offices that were previously inaccessible. Managing a project that has multiple orders and installation dates with products in multiple locations is no small feat – but hey, that’s what Office Furniture Warehouse is here for.
Open Plan Workstations
We’re all about supporting people where the magic happens – we tackled optimization of the engineers’ spaces for highly technical work in tandem with a need for connectivity with the office workstations.
Managing layouts, drafting equipment and documentation takes quite a bit of organizational space. The workstations include dual, locking file storage, overhead storage hutch and workstation tack board.
The engineers are generally desk-bound, meaning that their comfort and ergonomic orientation was high on the priority list. The seating used throughout the office is the every-popular 7704 multifunction task chair.
L-shape desks lend themselves to more room for spreading out, and provide plenty of space for digital integration & tidy cable management. Also, an office furniture fact for free: because of the “swivel zone” for task seating behind your workstation, L-shape desks essentially occupy the same amount of real estate as rectangular desks.
“OFW was able to provide office furniture that looks professional with very little turnaround time. By utilizing hutches to create make-shift ‘walls’ between workstations, we were able to maximize our space and remain within budget.”
– Kimberly Graves | Equitas
“A modicum of privacy” is a difficult achievement when spare square footage is slim. The construction of partitioned offices and the bullpen enclosure ensured visual and acoustical privacy, but closed meeting spaces and plentiful storage space still had to be addressed. Not to mention all the office furniture still had to fit!
Another upside to the open-plan workstations – they work just as well in private offices! Encircling the bullpen are an assortment of closed offices with slight variations on the same workstation: in place of an extra lateral file, occupants’ setup included a bow-front desk and guest chairs to accommodate collaborative visits from the bullpen.
Among the private offices in the project, there were two choice spaces for senior staff members requiring some specific consideration.
Manager A was described as “really tall” and requires extra storage space. Manager A’s window office is now occupied by U-group workstation for maximum work surface area with pole-supported bullet desk for extra leg space and an extra lateral filing cabinet for obvious reasons.
Manager B tends to have more meeting traffic through their space and needs space to spread out. Manager B’s corner office is a variation on the other manager’s setup: adding a bow-front desk adds some extra desk space for guests, and a modesty panel allowed for an additional file cabinet underneath the main work surface. The circular conference table has a small footprint and adds a surprising amount of versatile space.
“Our experience with OFW was completely positive. They understood our needs and provided products and services in a timely fashion. In addition, the sales staff remained on-site during installation, and even helped clean up. Thanks to OFW our new space was ready to use in record time.”
– Kimberly Graves | Equitas
Thanks for Reading!
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