Another year, another NeoCon and another chance to get the scoop on the biggest trends in office design! Here are some of the most popular design features that we noticed picking up steam at this year’s convention.
Partial Privacy. In response to the outcry of frustration over the popular open office floor plan, Neocon 2015 was full of designs based on the need for more privacy in the workplace. Although most employees don’t want a return to beige and boring cubicle farms, a full-blown open layout has proven to be an ineffective solution to fostering both collaborative and individual work. At NeoCon 2015, we saw a number of furniture designs that were made in an attempt to provide a happy medium between the two. From felt-lined walls and room dividers meant to act as sound barriers to small work pods that are to be used as temporary workspaces when projects require quiet focus, the designs were all effective in their own ways. Keep an eye out for more leaps in office privacy innovation in the upcoming years!
Multipurpose Meetings. Of course, offering both open and private space to employees takes up a lot of room. In what looks to be an answer to this newly developing issue, we noticed much smaller private rooms that are set up to facilitate multiple purposes. For example, executive offices are no longer the huge, closed-off spaces that they once were. Private offices are shrinking in size, and they’re being made to accommodate small meetings more easily. Whiteboards don’t even need to take up an entire wall anymore, since you can simply equip your office or meeting room with a table that has a whiteboard surface. We also noticed an increase in standing height conference tables that allow employees to take a break from sitting while they meet with one another.
Simple Standing. Speaking of standing meetings, standing was a major trend in every aspect of office furniture design this year. Nearly all of the furniture manufacturers we saw featured at least furniture piece designed to make the switch from sitting to standing easier. From high-tech adjustable height desks to stools that go from desk to counter height with the simple touch of a lever, the importance of staying active in the office is on everyone’s radar this year, and it seems that the trend will only grow as time goes on.
Home Away from Home. One unexpected but unsurprising trend that we found in the showrooms of NeoCon 2015 was the move toward making the office feel more like home. From solid wood desks that resemble beautiful dining room tables to huge statement lighting that you might expect to see in an art gallery, it was all about inspiring workers through beautiful design. While traditional pieces were still present here and there, the most popular color trends seemed to be white with bright pops of color, which was most commonly a branded color to foster a sense of belonging in the company. The overall consensus was that these fun, funky and fresh designs are in place to help employees feel more emotionally engaged in the work that they do, which helps lead to better motivation, focus and productivity.
Here’s to a quieter, healthier, homier 2015!