For Mary Beth Oakes, mindset is key to any work space.
Business Furniture and Choreo has opened its third MINDSET, a showroom and design space, at 10610 E. 96th St., Fishers. The Fishers showroom, which is 3,000 square feet, opened for tours by appointment starting Feb. 1 and will hold its official ribbon cutting March 4. Oakes is the CEO and owner of Business Furniture and CEO and co-owner with Patty Clark of sister company Choreo.
“The companies are complementary to one another in terms of what we do,” said Oakes, a Lawrence Township resident.
Oakes has been with Business Furniture since 1992 and became CEO in 2015. Her husband, Dick Oakes, was the former CEO of Business Furniture and retired as chairman at the end of 2020.
“In 2022, Business Furniture will celebrate 100 years in Indianapolis,” Oakes said.
There are MINDSET showrooms at the Indianapolis headquarters, 8421 Bearing Dr., and in Dayton, Ohio.
“Our first thought is we want to shift the mindset of what people are thinking when they are trying to decide what they want to do with their workspace,” Oakes said. “For me, it started a couple of years ago when we had a client trying to build an innovation center. They filled it up with a lot of individual space, but they didn’t have a lot of team or collaboration spaces. The client said, ‘I wish we had taken more time to consider how people innovate together and include more of those spaces.’ Those individual spaces are critical, but also what is critical is giving people spaces to come together with their colleagues.”
Oakes said since the pandemic started in mid-March 2020, many people have gotten accustomed to working from home.
“When they come back to the office, they want to come back to a space that offers them choice, variety, flexibility and control on how they work,” Oakes said. “That’s what we’re focusing on with MINDSET. You think about how somebody works from home, they could be working from a couch, they could be working from a bed or kitchen table. Over the past nine months, people have had flexibility in how they work.”
Oakes said some people find working at home very distracting, so they want to come back to a place where they can do focused work.
“The MINDSET space in Fishers is going to showcase space like that,” she said. “People are going to be wanting choices when they come back to the office. We also want the Fishers showroom to be a community space. Teams might want to come from the Fishers area and work in our space to inspire different ideas. I want to host roundtable discussions with other leaders to talk about what issues are on top of their mind. We want people to come in the space and be inspired by the colors and the whole feel of the space.”