workbench technology

WATER COOLER CHAT: Workbench Technology, An Idea Whose Time Has Come…Again.

Workbench technology is an enduring workplace tradition, for many good reasons. Benching systems are a simple, efficient, straightforward and adaptable. From the crude wood tables used for centuries by artisans and craftspeople to today’s sleek and technology-infused versions for knowledge workers, benching is a concept that’s continuing to evolve to meet a wide variety of workplace needs. In North America, the trend toward benching has been catching on fast because it’s a hard-working solution that addresses converging business realities.

In North America, the trend towards benching systems has been catching on fast because it’s a hard-working solution that addresses converging business realities, especially:

1) today’s workplace culture that prefers collaboration and networking to closed-off cubicles

2) the pressing need to curb real estate costs and adapt spaces quickly to changing business conditions and needs.

According to a study completed in 2009, more than 70% of corporate real estate executives have implemented mobile work strategies to boost space efficiency, 71% provide hoteling workspaces, and 75% support working from home. Controlling costs was the main reason cited for these strategies, but improving worker productivity and efficiency was a hard- pressing second-place driver.

Workbench technology is being reinvented, and it’s not “one-size-fits-all.” Understanding workplace needs is the key to creating the right benching solution for any size office.

A bench product is essentially rows of worksurfaces that are parallel to each other around a central technology infrastructure that conveniently provides access to power and data and also holds individual lighting and work tools. Users sit face-to-face or side-by-side. The worksurface can be a single long expanse or individual surfaces ganged together, fixed height or adjustable.

This whitepaper from Steelcase takes a look at the changing face of benching systems in the modern workplace.