Benching Systems; retro trend or future office? …ZETA SERIES
Up until the advent of the cubicle, most offices used an open plan system with rows of desks filled with workers who collaborated on their daily tasks to create an efficient business model. Enter the age of the cubicle. With the introduction of the modular workstation, the era of the open plan workplace seemed to be lost forever. Until recently, only a few industries espoused the open plan office concept. Financial traders and other businesses that required fast communication between peers continued to leverage the benefits of the open plan benching systems, while other businesses tended to build walls around their employees to enable them to maintain an element of privacy and focus.
Enter the modern office:
The next generation of our workforce is different. They are more connected, expect greater interaction, and require a different environment for their daily lives. The advent of social networks is but one example of this trend. Not only has the workforce started to evolve, the workplace has as well. More and more companies are finding that a greater portion of their workforce is mobile. Workers tend to spend more time away from the office but still need a place to work when they are in the office. The ‘hoteling’ stations that have gained popularity in recent years are a great example of this. Although companies benefit from providing these types of flexible workplaces, their typical office layouts do not accommodate today’s mobile workforce in the same way. The resurgence of the benching system is due in part to the recognition that while the workforce evolves, the workplace must also evolve to meet these changing needs.
Companies have to find ways to do more with less. Tighter budgets mean fewer people in smaller spaces. Benching systems provide solutions to these common dilemmas. Benching systems also offer advantages that benefit the environment as well as the people they accommodate. With fewer materials required than the typical cubicle system, benching systems are inherently more “Green” than other options. The lower walls and open spaces also contribute to better usage of natural lighting and better circulation. Both of these advantages can provide the typical office worker with some much needed relief from dreary fabric panels and the inevitable hot-and-cold-spots that are so common in most office environments.
A recent article in the Harvard business review stated that workplaces that enabled a line-of-sight connection between workers yielded more than a 15 percent improvement in workplace productivity.
Many of the manufacturers of contract office furniture have recognized this trend as more than a fad and have made considerable investments in creating new office furniture products that help companies meet these changing needs. The ZETA SERIES benching system is one of the latest products and is specifically designed to accommodate this change. ZETA SERIES was the first in stock benching system and is still one of the only solutions with integral power and data management capabilities that are also available for shipping within 24 hours. Other unique products in this category are helping to move this concept forward and make it a more viable option for progressive managers and their offices. Check out the Kimball’s Hum product to see another innovative product. Herman Miller, Steelcase, Teknion, and Knoll have each developed products to meet the surging demand for this type of office environment.