Why are more organizations specifying benching systems?
Three powerful drivers of change have had an impact on the office environment over the past five years:
- Cost-effective technologies (Wi-Fi, smartphones, tablets, video conferencing and cloud computing) have allowed workers to be mobile;
- More employers now trust that their employees can work “anywhere, anytime;” and
- The benefits of a collaborative environment have become more widely recognized
Because of these influences, employers are recognizing traditional workspaces are unoccupied a high percentage of the time. This is especially true of employees who traditionally work outside the office and may only need a touchdown space for when they are in the office.
Many employers are encouraging teleworking. Technology has eliminated the need to be in the office, other than for in-office meetings. Again, a teleworker need only have a touchdown space when in the office.
The solution is to replace unoccupied workstations with high-density benching systems. The result is lower real estate costs since benching systems save valuable real estate space.
A collaborative environment means “breaking down the walls.” It’s about giving employees an opportunity to reach out to other employees spontaneously. By having employees see and hear what is happening around them, they are able to give or get thoughts and ideas. They feel more engaged with their employer. Benching systems are today’s “around the watercooler” environment where chance encounters lead to fruitful discussion.
Benching systems also provide effective space for teaming because of the easy access to each member of the team. Many teams form because they are working on a specific project. Plug-and-play technology makes set-up of the team easy. Should a team be disbanded because the project is complete, benching allows for quick reconfiguration to accommodate a new team.
The three great drivers of change – technology, trust and a collaborative environment – increase the effectiveness of employees and increase employee satisfaction by providing a sense of belonging. Benching systems effectively support these while, at the same time, reducing real estate costs.
Rick Galbraith is vice-president of sales at The Global Group.