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It's Time To Buy Into Open Floor Plans. Here's How.


What started as a trend is swiftly becoming the norm in offices across the country. The mighty cubicle has fallen, and shared, open spaces have risen to take their place.  

In theory, the lack of walls encourages team spirit, collaboration and perceived quality among the staff. It also allows tenants to fit more workers across less SF.  

EthoSource, a company that has traditionally sold and refurbished pre-owned office furniture, has seen a spike in demand for products that fit the modern, open scheme. VP of sales Bryon Kauffman tells Bisnow the trend "has impacted what we procure and bring into our warehouse."

Bryon says demand has significantly dipped for high cubicle walls and the company has had to modify some of its inventory to make it appropriate for open floor plan offices. But its efforts have not stopped there.

"The change in taste led us to develop our own products," Bryon says. "Our core business since the company's inception has been to refurbish and recover used office furniture and make it look like new. With the industry’s transition toward open plans, we developed Basecamp, a product line of furniture that addresses some of the newer needs of the market."

Basecamp is based on legs, beams and work surfaces, as opposed to the old standard cubicle. The series includes different ergonomic accessories and add-ons such as lower screens that can be put up when temporary privacy is needed at each individual workspace.  

Bryon admits that open floor plans can have drawbacks, and perhaps some business owners may not be completely in love with making the switch.

However, many owners understand the change is necessary.

"Typically, the workspace can be fairly small in an open environment, which allows for high density within the floor plan. An office space that could accommodate 30 people 10 years ago can accommodate 50 people today, thanks to benching systems. Along with this shift in design, many businesses are also changing their structure from a hierarchical setup to a more team-focused approach. The open work area promotes that culture."

EthoSource Philadelphia market manager Bob Harrison says it's simply a matter of survival.  

“As companies want to attract talent, they also need to focus on attracting Millennials who tend to want the open workspace," he says. 

“Business owners want to distinguish themselves from others, and to do so they have to maintain a competitive edge. Our Basecamp line offers complete customization for the dynamic office design companies are looking for.” 

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Related Topics: open office, benching