NeoCon15: Emerging work environment trends

Allsteel FurtherAs always, NeoCon provided an overwhelming array of excellent exhibits, innovative ideas and clear insights into the evolving world of office design.

More than anything else, NeoCon15 emphasized what we’ve been saying for some time: the old traditional style office is out and the new adaptive work environment is in.  We don’t fit into offices anymore, offices fit around us.  There’s a blurring of the lines between ‘my space’ and ‘yours,’ not just visually by lowering cubicle walls, but, in many cases by actually taking away the cubicle altogether and replacing it with collaborative and quiet zones.

The key deliverables of the modern office are:

  • access to natural light
  • ‘hot desking’ i.e. the ability to move work surfaces together or apart and configure them easily for the task at hand, whether you’re working alone or in a group
  • easy to use adjustable height work surfaces so that we can alternate sitting and standing while working
  • integrated technology for seamless and efficient work process and collaboration
  • ‘touch-down’ or ‘hoteling’ – where those who drop into the office on an as-needed basis can find a work surface and the connectivity they need
  • formal and informal collaborative areas with convenient access
  • ‘noisy’ and ‘quiet’ zones to suit the task or work style
  • almost every flat surface has the potential to be a brainstorming white board – windows, walls and even tables
  • comfort: ergonomics are a huge part of modern office furniture design
  • color and texture are almost as important for visual stimulation as natural light

collaborative office furnitureIt’s an exciting time to plan an office design and there’s no shortage of inspiration.  In many ways, today’s office reminds us of the Montessori philosophy where formal curriculum is replaced with opportunities to learn and explore and the child is encouraged to move freely between these in order to develop creativity and cognitive skills.  Today’s office design philosophy is more about how we innovate than where we work.

If you’re re-thinking you’re office space, we invite you to reach out to us for ideas and input!