July 13, 2021

“Flex Zone” Adapts to Meet the Needs of Today…and Tomorrow

Every organization goes through change. Leading companies learn to pivot and make the necessary adjustments to support their businesses and people. With the Flex Zone, NBS created a versatile space that better meets the needs of our people today while retaining flexibility for modifications in the near term and the future.

A Rapid Response to Changing Workplace Requirements

The pandemic forced almost every organization to make shifts in how they work and where they work. As people return to the office, the types of spaces they use need to be more intentional and more conducive to certain types of collaboration while remaining adaptable for the future. The right space allows companies to remain resilient and flexible over time as needs continue to evolve.

NBS took the opportunity to make changes to our own space to better support the new ways our people are working as they returned to the office. As an interior integrator, we had the unique opportunity to revamp our space quickly and intentionally utilizing our in-house construction, floorcovering, furniture and audiovisual divisions.

Our Flex Zone was created to address the things we have learned throughout the pandemic. The new space supports meeting in the open while also offering some shielding to the adjacent open setting. The technology braids the physical environment with the digital, creating a more equal meeting experience for those in the room and those joining remotely.

Creating the Flex Zone: Architecture, Furniture and Technology

The Flex Zone was installed in part of our Troy showroom, a large open area with high ceilings and lots of windows. Prior to the pandemic, the area was used infrequently for sharing content or having conversations. Because the space was open and had high ceilings, sound traveled freely, limiting the usability of the area for meetings. Glare from the windows also made it difficult to use technology in the space.

To address these issues, we created the Flex Zone: a new three-sided enclosed space for meetings, collaboration, and focused work. In designing the Flex Zone, we used architectural elements, furniture selection and technology to craft a space with maximum flexibility and utility.


Architectural elements are used, not only to host technology, but also to provide a sense of privacy and acoustical control. The Steelcase V.I.A. modular wall system consists of interchangeable wall, door and lid components in different materials that fit together like building blocks.

  • Adding walls and an architectural lid over part of the space helped make the room feel intimate, limit distractions, and give some degree of privacy. The lid helps with acoustics and reduces glare from the high windows, providing better visibility for the integrated screen.
  • Surface materials were chosen to further reduce sound transfer, providing better acoustics for the space. The Flex Zone features a mix of materials, including fabric, painted steel, markerboard and acoustical felt. All the materials can be changed out due to the flexibility of the wall skins and architectural frame. We also took the opportunity to add some fun branding on one of the exterior magnetic panels that is visible to people walking up to our building.
  • In the future, we could fully enclose this area by adding a fourth demountable wall and door. Options like this support real estate resiliency over time.


All the furniture in this space is moveable, from the height-adjustable desks to the mobile whiteboards and team tables.

·       Mobile furniture encourages teams to arrange the space to best fit their needs, such as pushing the desks together for an intimate discussion or orienting them classroom-style towards the mounted display to take a video call.

·       To support the different furniture reconfigurations, power hubs are plugged into the raised floor to keep desks, lighting and mobile devices working.


When it came to technology, we knew that adding a large display with a camera and video conferencing capabilities was key.

  • The camera is mounted at the correct seated height and zooms in on whoever is speaking.
  • By adding ClickShare Conference by Barco, people can connect wirelessly to the room camera, speaker and soundbar. This setup supports our team so they can display content or join a video call quickly and intuitively.

We love to use this new space to meet with our clients and visitors. It doesn’t have that formal “boardroom” feel. It is comfortable, bright and helps us illustrate what the new workplace can look and feel like.

NBS designs, builds, furnishes and maintains spaces with integrated architecture, furniture and technology. We pride ourselves on helping our clients navigate change and create amazing destinations. Contact us to create a Flex Zone of your own!