Steelcase Introduces Benching Solution At Neocon 2010

FrameOne™ addresses compressed real estate, enhances collaboration, supports mobility and personalizes space

CHICAGO – June 14, 2010 – Steelcase Inc. (NYSE:SCS), a global office environments manufacturer, announced today that FrameOne, a new benching system based on insights from a global research project is being introduced at NeoCon 2010, the World’s Trade Fair for Interior Design and Facilities Management. Steelcase researchers identified four very different types of bench users with distinct needs that require different product solutions. A key finding of the research is that the “one size fits all” approach to benching that’s been typical in the U.S. can compromise worker efficiency and satisfaction. FrameOne was designed to support these diverse worker needs, while using space efficiently.

Long popular in Europe, benching environments in North America gained popularity because of the pressing need to curb real estate costs and adapt spaces quickly to changing business conditions. Steelcase researchers found that one of the business advantages for benches is the ability to achieve up to a 25% real-estate savings. But an additional benefit – if designed to support the different types of work happening – is that benches can help employees get more done and attract the newest generation of workers who want to feel part of the organization’s culture and build a sense of community.

“Benching can be about much more than real estate efficiency and cost savings,” said Jim Keane, president, Steelcase Group. “FrameOne is a solution that supports an agile workplace with different types of workers in different modes of work. It can help employees shift between collaboration on a project or focused individual work.”

Steelcase research found four user profiles for benching based on the worker’s level of mobility and need for collaboration. The profiles include:

  • Residents who do individually focused work that is standardized and process driven, such as customer service or call center workers.
  • Functional groups who do focused work primarily at their workspace and need to collaborate frequently, such as design teams or investment traders.
  • Nomads who are highly mobile, need a place to touch-down, get work done and connect with colleagues, such as consultants or sales reps.
  • Project teams who are highly collaborative, mobile and shifting constantly from individual to group work, such as product development or strategy teams.

FrameOne offers a range of component choices and tools that can flex to meet these different needs. It supports collaborative and individual work, provides the right fit for dedicated and shared workspaces, offers integrated worktools, lighting, storage and connections, while using space efficiently. As teams shrink or grow, FrameOne’s recessed legs allow workers the flexibility to compress or expand and the design allows for sections of bench to be added or subtracted quickly. Its elegant design is part of a global platform that allows companies to experience a similar look and feel anywhere in the world in support of their brand, but also adjust for cultural differences.

Designed to offer versatility in an open-plan space, FrameOne is available as a single or dual-sided bench for tasking and teaming applications. Its cord management solution allows the ability to reduce clutter and free up work space. Additional worktools from Details® are available to manage space and provide privacy.

To create a personal space, privacy screens and worktools offer a lateral barrier in the middle of a bench, while a bag caddy beneath the desk shields legs and stores smaller objects.
FrameOne is pending BIFMA level™ certification under BIFMA’s e3 sustainability standards.

About Steelcase Inc.
Steelcase Inc. helps create great experiences – wherever work happens. Our brands offer a comprehensive portfolio of workplace furnishings, products and services, inspired by nearly 100 years of insight gained serving the world’s leading organizations. We are globally accessible through a network of channels, including over 650 dealers. We design for social, economic, and environmental sustainability. Steelcase is a global, publicly traded company leading our industry with fiscal 2010 revenue of approximately $2.3 billion.

Sara Whitman