Space Odyssey.

Position:Brief Article

Mobility is key in new office design

Since he relocated his company to a newly designed 7,000-square-foot office on North Meridian Street in Carmel, BitWise Solutions' CEO, Ron Brumbarger, says a few clients have asked if they could work there.

What's so compelling about the office is its 2,800-square-foot "greenhouse," a place where clients and BitWise professionals collaborate on custom applications for Web sites and e-commerce.

Furniture and work stations are movable to accommodate teamwork. Dry-eraser boards and markers are at hand. The space is open and airy, eliminating barriers to working together, yet it has enclaves for working solo.

"More senior managers are looking at their offices as an asset rather than just an expense," says Bob Koehne, executive vice president of sales, marketing and design for Business Furniture Corp. in Indianapolis. Koehne's company helped with the design and installation of Brumbarger's new office. He is seeing a resurgence of smart walls, or floor-to-ceiling walls that are movable and have internal wiring that is easily accessible and changeable.

Open-plan products that use panels to separate employees' workspaces have also been adapted to support new ways of working, says Julie Swiatek, product marketing manager with Jasper-based Kimball International, one of the country's leading office-furniture manufacturers. For example, Kimball's TRAXX product can convert a private office to a shared area or conference room.

Kimball's Skate product puts an emphasis on mobility and adjustable work heights. Tables, carts, files and storage units all come on wheels so an employee can take files to a meeting or move a desk next to a coworker when working on...

To continue reading