Continental Office is expanding its footprint to Downtown Columbus. The 4,000 square foot studio at 130 E. Chestnut St. will serve dual purposes as both a space for employees and a showroom.
“We wanted our associates to have choices in where they work,” says Rachel Iannarino, VP, Marketing at Continental.
You won’t find many employees that have assigned workspaces at either the Downtown studio or their main campus at 5061 Freeway Dr. E. Depending on what an employee has on their agenda for the day, associates have the flexibility to choose the ideal environment that fits their needs.
Iannarino says it creates productivity – and keeps associates happy.
“People really do want that choice and that flexibility,” she says.
Creating multiple environments means creating different experiences – a theme that ties them together with their partner in the space, Hopewell. Continental assisted in designing and furnishing the space which aims to create a new way people work through a more membership-based, social model. Iannarino says they want employees and clients alike to come in and experience the space.
Having two separate showrooms, “It allows our clients to see very different applications,” Iannarino says. More space means more products and more set ups designed to spark clients’ imaginations. If a client can dream it up, Continental wants to help them bring it to life.
“It’s really about your organization and your business goals,” Iannarino says.
As the way people work changes, Continental is focused on designing spaces with the future in mind. How can a business make a workspace flexible so it can grow and change with the organization?
Those setups might be easier to imagine thanks to the technology focus leveraged in the new Downtown studio.
Using virtual reality, “It can give our clients the ability to walk through their space before it’s ever even finished,” Iannarino says.
Issues can be resolved before a space is even built. It saves a client money, plus, “It’s cool,” Iannarino says.
A 55-inch screen situated in a more living room type set up makes a comfortable environment for associates to easily share proposals, floor plans and more. Touchscreen technology adds a wow factor during presentations.
Continental focused on technology because, “Finding and keeping great talent is becoming increasingly challenging and we’re helping our clients navigate that dynamic,” says CEO Ira Sharfin. “For example, technology and physical space greatly impacts attraction, retention, and engagement. We know that 82 percent of millennial workers say technology influences their employment decisions and 44 percent of today’s employees don’t feel their workspace is smart enough.”
Iannarino says they know the way people work is evolving. Flexibility and technology will play increasingly important roles. Spaces are more open and collaborative, prompting human connection.
The Downtown studio represents where the workplace is headed, and will continue to evolve just as the workplace does.
For more information, visit continentaloffice.com.
All photos provided by Continental Office.
Additional reading: Is the Future of the Open Office in Jeopardy?