The 21st Century may not have all the flying cars, and magical appliances that the popular vision of the Jetsons included (yet); but we are well on our way to the office of the future. Knowledge workers have taken over the workplace, and they prefer collaboration and flexibility to do their best work. This coupled with the business need to make the most efficient use of space are the main factors driving this trend. As it turns out the office of the future includes a reinvention of an old goodie: the workbench.

Benching is the hottest office furniture design trend today.

You may have also heard this trend referred to as Hoteling or Hot Desking. They are partition less workstations, with central access to power and data, and are easy to rearrange. So, these workstations can either be unassigned or very flexible for reassignment. Throw in space for personal supplies, forms, key information and comfort, and you have empowered your employees to be more productive.

These flexible workstations are hot for four big reasons.

1. Expense Reduction/ Less Sq Ft per Employee

As binders and catalogs are now mostly digital, the days of an 8×8 high-walled (to accommodate overhead bins), 30″ deep work surfaces (to accommodate big monitors) and privacy (see below-no longer good in some cases) are long gone. The same employee can now be accommodated in a much smaller footprint, even if privacy is still needed. As office space expense is one of the most expensive areas for most companies, you could save as much as 40% of the space and money by just shrinking the typical cube, and even more with a flex space that only needs to accommodate those employees at the office that day.

2. Flexibility of Space

To be able to quickly accommodate new project teams, dramatic sudden growth in a department, and certainly to permit Hoteling, you need flexibility. Most of these modern benching solutions can accommodate a very rapid change in shape, purpose and privacy levels with little labor and parts. Simply adding or removing a screen, adding another surface or crowding in another team member and their laptop is so easy compared to traditional panel systems.

3. Productivity, Especially Collaboration and Team Projects

Some Knowledge Workers, especially those that provide creativity, produce their best result in collaborative, team environments. Being able to bounce ideas of one another or  meet without leaving your workspace, or simply comfortably co-develop solutions has a priceless value with exponential returns. How much creativity is being wasted in an isolated workers cube that we are not even aware of?

4. Environmental Concerns, including LEED

Access to natural sunlight has been coveted since the first corner office was built. In an open plan environment, low or no panel layouts share this rarest of resources with the masses in ways traditional cubes and walls could never imagine. For those folks seeking LEED credits, sunlight and airflow dominate the environmental categories, and there are points for the taking with these types of solutions. Your firm may be on the verge of incredible breakthroughs in productivity, creativity, and real estate savings. The same exact space you are occupying now or a new space could become this new reality really quickly. Corovan is here to help in a wide array of ways and are only few clicks or a phone call away.

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