Numerous plants, bean bag furniture and bicycles dominate the Beam Dental CEO's condo at Broad and High Streets.

Alex Frommeyer grew up in northern Kentucky on 100 acres of farmland and woods, where he spent a lot of time climbing trees.

Today, the CEO of Beam Dental is a proponent of urban living. He’s mixed the past with the present by outfitting his 8 on the Square condominium on East Broad Street with “a jungle of plants” to create a figurative treehouse in the city’s sky.

As he works from home running the dental benefits business that uses technology to incorporate hygiene behavior into policy pricing, he’s surrounded by 45 plants including fiddle leaf figs, monsteras and African ZZ plants. He works at a standing desk that overlooks the heart of the city, including the Ohio Statehouse. 

It's a minimalist's comfort zone. Check out Alex Frommeyer's home office space in the gallery attached to this story.

Frommeyer and his partner Amelia have neither a car nor traditional indoor furniture. So his home office fits in among large beanbags and bicycles, helmets and a tire pump.

When he’s not working on his MacBook Air laptop, Frommeyer takes breaks to walk the downtown riverfront, shop at downtown businesses, take bike rides and make quick trips to the Athletic Club for blackened chicken salads for lunch. 

Frommeyer also listens to ambient music during the day as he works—usually jazz or low-fi hip hop. For when he feels like dabbling, a music production center machine sits on his minimalist desk behind an Audrey ficus plant. If he wants a break from his desk, he can take work calls on an outdoor patio that has about a half dozen plants and a view of Capitol Square below.

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Amid Covid-19, Frommeyer and his team are talking more often these days using video technology like Google Meets, Zoom and Microsoft Teams. 

“Working from home feels more focused,” Frommeyer says. “There’s more of a chance for deep thinking.”

He says Beam so far this year is ahead of its goals and has benefitted from being a digital-first company. The company is moving to a hybrid working model where some roles eventually will go back to the office environment, but others will be built to be “remote first,” where employees might come into the office just a few days a month. This allows for a broader recruiting geography and a more flexible work space, since on any given day only 30 percent to 60 percent of the team will be in the office. 

“This presents new challenges to the discipline required to be thoughtful about the culture, deliberate in communication and more transparent than ever before,” Frommeyer says. “Covid has been a really important cultural litmus test for us.

"One of our core values is resilience, and this is the perfect test of the team's ability to adapt to a new working style, to be patient with the company as we figure things, out, and an opportunity for new leaders to emerge in the business who are ready to step up to the challenge of an uncertain future.”

Laura Newpoff is a freelance writer for Columbus CEO.