In the summer of 2011 KSA Interiors was selected by the General Services Administration to help lead their organization in adopting a new model for the collaborative workplace. In keeping with President Obama's Executive Order 13514 and the GSA's Agency Sustainability Plan - KSA helped develop mobile work environments that compressed physical real estate, promoted improved use of space, flattened corporate hierarchy, and maintained the organization's Zero Environmental Footprint Goal.
Primary goals for our team were to reconfigure existing furniture and to compress the traditional working environment to better align with the growing needs of telework and cross-organization communication.
Long term cost savings were a major factor in all project decisions as the life-span of all products and furnishings identified in this project were intended to outlive their proposed location in the One Constitution Square facility. This requirement established a key challenge as all furnishings and materials would need to work not only here at One Constitution Square, but also work seamlessly at the GSA headquarters facility – the final home for these solutions and departments.
Programming sessions with the various departments within the organization identified a variety of specific needs and requirements for each unique group - with several key themes that were consistent throughout the organization, including:
Compressing and maximizing the use of existing physical space.
Supporting the needs and culture of telework.
Providing increased opportunity for collaboration.
Addressing privacy as a function of specific tasks as opposed to a measure of status.
Promoting individual and organizational wellness.
To meet these challenges, open work spaces were reconfigured and compressed using "benching" and collaborative open plan systems to increase cross pollination of ideas and to provide appropriate space for telework. Hard walled spaces formerly used for private offices were converted into areas for multi-media collaboration, team meetings, and private interactions. Open collaborative areas which adjoin the open office workspace created areas to improve team communication and also encouraged team members to move throughout the facility. Movement throughout the day was one of the final initiatives in promoting a more healthy work environment and team.
The success of these solutions will assist the GSA in adopting a more effective and efficient work environment - reducing the need for physical real estate and improving the productivity, corporate culture, and well being of it's staff.