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The Future of Office Design: What’s Trending

Across industries, the modern office is being redefined. Amid the complexities of comprehensive design—materials, technology, personalities, organizational culture—simplification is key.

In order to meet the diverse, evolving needs of today’s worker, office interiors must shift toward a human-centered, occupant-focused design approach. And that’s just what we saw at this summer’s 49th annual NeoCon in Chicago, the contract furniture industry’s largest event dedicated to commercial workplace design, attracting 50,000+ attendees from near and far.

Across showrooms, five user-driven trends emerged—from versatile away-from-desk settings to residential influences—that together are helping drive the future of office design. 

west-elm-workspace-neocon-trend-report-22Haus, Launching 2018

west-elm-workspace-neocon-2017-trend-report-02
Haus, Launching 2018

PRIVACY
People don’t want cubicles, but they want privacy. In the rise of the open floor plan, employees  need destinations for private concentration and retreat more than ever. A solution? Semi-enclosed settings that offer visual and acoustic privacy from the commotion of the open office and the opportunity for undistracted, heads-down work. 

west-elm-workspace-neocon-trend-report-14Heyward Sectional + Lily Pad Tables, Available Now

COLLABORATIVE MEETING SPACES
Historically used in traditional lobby settings, ancillary furniture now creates areas for informal meeting spaces, offering semi-private collaboration away from desk settings. Multifunctional, modular pieces provide the flexibility needed by today’s unpredictable office, where meeting needs are diverse—and apt to change by the hour. 

west-elm-workspace-neocon-2017-trend-report-04Show Wood Chair (Available Now) shown in Margo Selby for WORKSPACE, Launching 2018

GEOMETRIC TEXTILES
Merch Mart displays showcased pattern aplenty, with bold, geometric textiles showcased consistently throughout. In artful, often architecture-inspired patterns, color and texture adds visual interest to the workplace without overpowering it or distracting its occupants.

west-elm-workspace-neocon-trend-report-28Array, Launching 2018

RESIDENTIAL INSPIRATION
As work and home lives merge, today’s worker values a workplace with residential sensibilities. No one wants to work in a factory-like environment, and a rise of ancillary pieces, warm tones and metallic touches like brass and copper finishes combine for inviting atmospheres without sacrificing function.

west-elm-workspace-neocon-trend-report-26Conduit, Launching 2018

TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION
Perhaps once a luxury, seamless power + data integration is now a workplace expectation. From conference tables to benching systems, technology plays a huge role in furthering user and organization productivity and wellness. Are more people sitting or standing at their desks? Products can now collect sensory data to help inform an employer on company-wide decisions—like health care—that will best benefit their teams.

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