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Benching – Is this popular trend right for your business?

Benching – Is this popular trend right for your business?

The biggest trend right now in office design is benching. Several factors may cause a company to make the shift from typical office cubes to an open concept design. Benching can often be the key element of this design. When choosing this option, moderation – as with all good things, can be the key to your success.

Upsides:

Increased Collaboration – Removing the walls between workers and departments increases communication, group interaction and the exchange of information. This can change the dynamic and culture among your employees.

Saving Space and Money – Benching is a cost effective way to maximize space. Eliminating dividing panels used in cubes will allow you to accommodate a few more team members in the same size space. The stations are typically simple with less storage and less room for clutter. Using fewer materials will result in lower costs than traditional workstations.

Looks cool – Any negative connotations associated with traditional setups are gone with most benching systems. They are clean, sleek designs that can make positive change to the aesthetic of an office. Despite having less space, a benching station can lessen the claustrophobic feel of a traditional cube.

Drawbacks:

Distractions – Without walls, conversation, personal calls and habits may become a distraction. In situations that require concentrated, focused work the increased buzz in an open environment can be a distraction and decrease productivity for some.

Privacy – The ability to take personal calls and send personal emails can be hindered in an open environment. This may be the point of open plan for some organizations, but this loss of privacy can lead to loss of employee satisfaction. When this happens a loss of productivity may not be far behind.

Mess – The clean and sleek look of a benching system can be interrupted both by personalizing work areas and the supplies we need to do our work. Clutter can make an office feel messy particularly in areas seen by clients.

Tips for success:

Office Rules – It may be necessary to look at current office protocols and implement guidelines regarding personal phone calls and items allowed at ones workspace. Move team meetings to a team room or small conference room. This can help with any distractions that that can result from a more open environment.

Team rooms and Break areas – In addition to changing office rules it is important to give people private places to go when they are either affected by or participating in distracting behavior. Providing team rooms and break areas that allow a quiet space for focused work or to simply make a phone call will increase the likelihood of success for an open plan office.

This is not a solution for everyone – Depending on the type of work being done, benching may not be the right solution. An open plan can increase collaboration and productivity in certain types of environments. It is also important to continue to be sensitive to the needs of colleagues that require privacy and quiet to be effective. Finding balance between the two is important when designing any office space.

Do you have questions about the benefits of used furniture and how you can accomplish your redesign goals? If so, MC Office Furniture can help. For a no-cost consultation, contact us online, email us at info@mcofficefurniture.com or call 917-561-1097 today.

About the Author
Barry Handwerger has over 20 years in the office furniture industry in New York City and the Tri-State area. Beginning with office assessments and layout, Barry figures out what will fill your needs. His extensive array of furniture will help to create an efficient and well designed work environment. Contact him at barry@mcofficefurniture.com or call 917-561-1097 today.