NeoCon 2022 returned in full swing in June, a chance for professionals from the furniture, architecture, and design industries to connect after a multiple-year hiatus. At this kind of event, we often can get a good snapshot of current design industry trends and what we can expect soon from workplace design. This year, we saw the latest in 2022 office design trends and we’re excited about what we could soon see and help you visualize, design, and implement.
Several KiSP team members from our visualization and KITS Collaborator teams were at NeoCon 2022 so here are some highlights of the displays and trends we saw there. Top-level observation from our teams: we saw trends arising in sustainability, hybrid workspaces, and a focus on bringing a sense of home into office workspaces. Let’s dive into each of these three trends and the products and designs that we saw that were showcased.
2022 Office Trend: Sustainability and Greenery
Many industries are examining the future of their businesses and how they can continue to meet client needs but improve the sustainability of their methods. This includes examining what materials are being used, transportation, and commuting efforts. It has also become apparent that many consumers prefer to do business with partners who are making efforts in sustainability. They want to feel that by choosing to work with an environmentally conscious company, they too are being sustainable in their actions. This study from EY Canada states that sustainability is becoming more of a priority for consumers and that 69% are relying on businesses to make those changes.
We are starting to see those changes on large scale and more and more furniture manufacturers are creating products and designs that are more sustainable in terms of materials used. At the same time, we are also seeing companies create more chances for greenery to be incorporated into an office’s design, including things such as live walls and creating space for plants.
This trend Is visually appealing but also looking to create a bigger impact on the larger world and our environment which is something we are excited to see more of.
2022 Office Design Trend: Making the workplace feel more like a living space
The dramatic shift to remote work in the last two years was a disruption to our industry (and most others). Over that time many people grew used to working in the comfort of their homes. With the world returning to some sense of normalcy and as employees start returning to their offices, it’s become clear that employees want to see some of the comforts they had at their homes in their office environments.
It’s a continuation of the move to ancillary furniture we were seeing before the pandemic - the sense that the office can be an aesthetic and comfortable space. Return to the office has escalated the trend and made it all the more necessary for today’s managers to think about how their teams are most productive.
To address these desires of today’s workers, businesses are creating designs that are trying to emulate some home comforts and collaborative spaces. We are seeing designs that are incorporating more furniture than you would more commonly see in living rooms. Designs that include larger relaxing spaces with couches, end tables, and coffee tables with color palettes that are more vibrant or comforting. The hope is by continuing to bring creature comforts to the workplaces, offices will be able to get people comfortable working away from home again. But it’s not all about aesthetics. If we used to sell cubicles and filing cabinets, we now sell spaces that meet purpose-driven needs. When people return to the office, it is to do the things they can’t do at home. Ancillary furniture facilitates casual meetings, and gathering spaces for teams and allows you to bring work tools like whiteboards in and out of the space. Increasingly being in the office will be related to meetings, not to independent work and the wealth of soft seating options at NeoCon reflected that.
2022 Office Design Trend: Hybrid workspaces
As we mentioned previously, there has been a major shift to remote work in the last few recent years. During this time, we have become reliant on tools such as video conferencing, instant messaging, and more to help facilitate work in a home office setting. As we slowly transition back to more employees in the office, businesses need to make sure those workspaces can cater to employees who may only temporarily be in the office for a few days at a time. As well as those who will have to work and collaborate with those who are still working remotely.
We've seen a rising trend in certain furniture products and designs that facilitate areas that are semi-private where one could go take a video call with a team who was working remotely. As well, we are seeing more open concept workstation designs that people who are only temporarily in the office come in and set up for a day or two and very easily settle in. This includes storage and lockers, easy plug-in setups, and the mechanics of getting to work. It also includes flexible spaces that allow people to bring tools like whiteboards and screens over to their work areas, rather than having to congregate inside meeting rooms.
It has been extremely interesting to see how certain furniture products create this feeling of semi-private-ness. We saw cubicles that were partitioned off with plexiglass, we also saw the use of tent-like structures that were used to create sectioned-off areas that would be more suitable for making video calls. Businesses are coming up with unique creative ways to separate work from meetings and allow people to continue to work with teams remotely. We believe this will be a trend that many in the industry will actively follow for several years to come.
Excited for the future
These three office design trends were the ones that excited us the most when we attended NeoCon last month. It's an exciting time for us to be able to meet again in person and for us to collaborate and celebrate with colleagues from across the industry. We have missed having a chance to see the latest designs from across the industry and get this little snippet of what the current landscape looks like. At KiSP, we will continue to monitor these trends and see how they continue to play a role in office design as the year progresses.
Do you want to start visualizing what an office space incorporating these design trends could look like? Reach out to our visualization teams. You can contact us at email@example.com or give us a call at 416-499-2457 ext 2741. Or do you want to start planning spaces for your clients to start including some of these trends in their upcoming workspaces? Book a demo with our KITS Collaborator team to learn more about the power to show and sell.