Proximo is a privately-owned, premium spirits importer based in Jersey City, New Jersey. With just over seven years of business, the company’s portfolio has already grown to hold twelve premium brands. Its office space struggled to keep up with rapidly growing storage needs. In addition, high workstation panels were obscuring the unique architecture of the building, which was built in 1890. Proximo was committed to creating a new layout that provided a cleaner aesthetic with full functionality and less visible clutter.
After two years of using affordable refurbished and rental furniture from Arenson’s Rental department during their growth phase, the firm sought a streamlined aesthetic to help attract and retain future and current employees.
Provide More Functionality
The needs of Proximo had begun to outgrow the amount and type of storage that they currently had, and they wanted storage that reflected the large body of work they were accumulating. “There was not enough storage particularly for the type of work we do… we had tons of bottles and mock-ups,” says Dylan Beyer, Assistant Brand Manager of the whiskey division.
Because of the odd shapes and sizes of items that needed to be stored, many of the employees ended up putting their items on their worksurfaces. As a result, almost a third of their worksurface was being used for storage. In addition, many employees did not utilize their filing drawers because it was not the right size for their materials.
Proximo’s layout had consisted of private offices, 2 conference rooms, workstations, and a kitchen/break area. They wanted to create more areas for collaboration to provide greater flow of synergy.
After providing rental furniture to Proximo for 2 years, Arenson was made aware of the need for change. The Rental department collaborated with the Arenson’s Office Furnishings division and from there, a solution was delivered.
“He had a lot of industry knowledge in terms of what to recommend, etc. It was a long process… there were a lot of changes; overall, it was a great experience. Every question we had for him, he had answers. He’s very on top of it,” Vera Soto, Manager of Financial Planning at Proximo who led the project, said of John Lawler, Arenson’s point of contact for this project.
After walking through the space and discussing the current concerns with Proximo, Arenson realized that employees had storage that was inadequate in both type and amount. Many of the employees did not use their filing drawers and ended up putting storage on the worksurface. In addition, the space had unique architecture and windows that were being obscured by high panels.
Meeting Storage Needs
Arenson chose Knoll’s Template line of storage specifically to meet Proximo’s needs. With multiple horizons and unique two-sided access, Template enables a topography of sightlines; this allowed the unique architecture of the room to stand out and natural light to disseminate better. The client desired low horizon; however, this conflicted with a functional storage solution. As a result, the final workstation layout uses multiple horizons that let more light in throughout the room.
Template’s modular, component-based construction allows for flexibility and customization.
Deliver Ergonomics and Usable Worksurfaces
Monitors and keyboards also took up a good portion of each employee’s worksurfaces. Arenson provided monitor arms and keyboard/mouse trays to clear the worksurface and enable proper ergonomics for the user.
Arenson provided small meeting tables throughout the shared workstations as well as an informal break area that was able to accommodate 20 people. The informal break area consists of bar-height tables with Knoll tops. In addition, Arenson provided markerboard surfaces on high panels facing the break area to aid in collaborative efforts.
In addition, Knoll Template’s 15” deep footprint allowed for greater space efficiency; this helped provide space for the collaboration area near the pantry.
A smaller workspace footprint accommodates the same number of workspaces as before as well as additional collaborative areas both within the workstations and in the separate break area.
The break area is slowly gaining popularity. “That’s something we’ve never had before. Maybe over time, people will be more comfortable using it. Some people hang out there during lunchtime. Others who have a lot of stuff to lay out use that area too,” says Beyer.
An innovative furniture solution creates greater efficiency in a more spacious configuration that provides some privacy while maintaining openness for improved collaboration.