NeoCon, one of the largest commercial design expos, is held at the Merchandise Mart in June every year in Chicago, IL. This year’s NeoCon showcased the hottest furniture trends—pops of bright colors, curvilinear lines, and soft edges. However, the most prevalent takeaway were the creative solutions to address the challenges of working within an open office in managing acoustics, maximizing real estate, and accessing technology.
Soft Seating and Acoustical Treatments, Photo Courtesy of Scandinavian Spaces
In today’s modern open office, creating a variety in space types allows employees to choose how they work, including the ability to change different postures throughout the day. Versatility in space types also presents opportunities outside of the traditional workstation for both individual focus work and collaboration for teams.
Individual Phone Room, AllSteel Showroom (Left); Open Meeting Space, Photo Courtesy of BuzzSpace (Right).
Collaborative Lounge Seating, Photo Courtesy of Hightower
Mobility – Teams have the autonomy to reconfigure spaces on their own as work changes throughout the project. Promoting movement throughout the day grants teams the autonomy to use their space as they see fit. Agile workspaces foster creativity and allow employees to interact with their environment.
Bene Box Stadium Seating, Teknion Showroom (Left); Bene Box 2-person Workstation, Teknion Showroom (Right)
Flex Mobile Collection, Photo Courtesy of Steelcase
This ongoing notion of “Resi-mercialism” has become quite popular in recent years. It brings a sense of home and comfort into the workplace. Soft seating and fabrics lend a warmer and more inviting feeling to encourage collaboration and break up the monotony of a sea of cubicles within an open office. Doubling in functionality, spaces like these allow for much needed respite throughout a busy workday, or if paired with a laptop table, employees have the choice to work in a relaxed posture.
Collaborative Soft Seating, Steelcase Showroom (Left); Collaborative Soft Seating, West Elm Showroom (Right)
Anna Santos is a Furniture Designer and Relocation Manager at Facilicorp. For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org