Offsite meeting space takes hold in Chicago

February 18, 2009
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Steelcase Inc. has launched Workspring, a highly designed meeting space located in the River North neighborhood of Chicago to offer a high-performance, off-site work environment for groups and teams. Workspring provides a reasonably priced alternative for companies in need of off-site space amidst shrinking real estate footprints, pressure to reduce fixed expenses, and a shift to more collaborative work to solve complex problems.

According to a news release, based on more than 15 years of research, Workspring provides a premium space for organizations that want to maximize meeting effectiveness. Current off-site meeting options include local coffee shops and restaurants, hotels and "rent-a-room" centers that cannot accommodate the right balance of needs for groups and teams. Workspring provides the social, spatial and informational components — everything from concierge and catering services to technology and tools — that contribute to transformative exchanges between workers.

"We're in a changed business environment where space and cost savings are competing with the need to drive innovation through organizations," said Mark Greiner, senior vice president, WorkSpace Futures, Steelcase. "By designing every aspect of Workspring around research that shows how best to facilitate group work, we're able to offer an experience in a space that most organizations cannot match onsite. The end result can unleash the creative power of groups that organizations need."

Each component of Workspring has a purpose, reflecting Steelcase research insights on the essential ingredients for an effective meeting. Workspring's recipe includes: a quiet location that acts as a retreat from the bustle of the city; advanced technology with multiple options to display and generate content; furniture specifically designed to enhance collaboration; food and beverages to keep hunger levels low and productivity high; and trained concierge staff to fulfill guest needs so they can focus on the work at hand.

Comprised of five private studios, accommodating groups from one to 25, and community spaces totaling 5,000 square feet, Workspring can accommodate up to 55 guests. The company believes the space is ideal for groups traveling to Chicago on business or for companies based in Chicago in need of off-site meeting space. Workspring charges a flat fee of $140 per person in four-hour sessions. The price is all inclusive, with no additional charge for any services, including informational (wireless Internet, collaborative tools, digital and analog content capture, copiers and printers); spatial (outdoor courtyard and business resource library); and social (healthy food and beverage options, and open access to common areas) — the three main components of effective group work.

For more information, go to www.workspring.com or www.steelcase.com

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