Office furniture company has a workplace for other workplaces to model.
Dupler Office operates in a sprawling, multifunction area that is as much an office as it is a lab and showroom. The office furniture design and supply company tries out office furniture that it also sells, and the office's setup displays ideas for interior design to clients.
“It's very much used as a showroom and a learning lab for our clients, then we actually get to work in the environment and test new products and rearrange products to test new applications,” says Randy Dupler, principal of Dupler Office. “So we'll do work with workplace strategists to understand the workplace of the future and then we'll go ahead and make a sample of that and work in it for a while so we can talk about it better,” he adds.
Dupler has spent 11 years in the Belmont Building on West Spring Street. The structural part of the space was designed by Andrew Rosenthal of GRA+D Architects and is made of wood and steel—the two primary building materials of Dupler's office products. The simplicity of the design is something that has allowed the office to change over the years.
“The structural environment he (Andrew Rosenthal) did has been a timeless design. It's been a great palette for us to continue to evolve and develop our solutions for our clients.”
Upon entering, no reception area can be found. That's because about three years ago it was removed.
“A lot of companies are getting away from having a static person up front and that it's just more interactive and collaborative when you walk in the space and you're welcome and anyone will greet you, says Dupler. “When the phone rings, everyone's phone rings. It's a team effort on welcoming people into our home.”
The workspace is open and has rows of desks in all different styles, interspersed with clusters of comfortable chairs and meeting spots in the form of traditional conference rooms and informal standing areas. All furniture is designed and placed to look good and provide needed body support and comfort for office workers. One of the more public spaces, Randy Dupler's office, is surrounded only by a curtain, which is how he wants it.
“I feel like I get to come to work every day with my friends, so I love coming in.”
Off the main room is a smaller café area—the most widely-used part of the office—splashed in bright colors and geometric designs. On the wall overlooking the kitchen are dry-erase caricatures of everyone at Dupler Office, which is a whimsical way to showcase a team who is important to Randy Dupler and for whom he wants to provide opportunities that develop members of the team as workers, but also as people. One of the ways this is accomplished is by offering team members extra monthly classes on anything from cooking, to gardening, to painting.
“We are a group of people with a genuine purpose here, that really want to continue to learn—not just about our industry—but really want to help develop ourselves outside of our work walls,” Dupler says.