This is part two in my blog series about the trends at NeoCon 2012. Other posts in this series can be found here: Part 1, Part 3, Part 4, & Part 5.

Adaptable Workspaces

One of the most monumental changes to how we work is the introduction of adaptable workspaces.  This can be seen on multiple levels, from seating to adjustable height worksurfaces.  It’s not all about just physically adapting the workspace but rather allowing spaces to be used in different ways or by different people.  There are new innovations with seating, such as the task chair that allows the user to exercise mid-day.  It works your arms, legs, and torso without even getting out of your chair.

There are mobile space dividers that allow you to create division of space between desk users or even on a conference table, because they don’t have to be permanently installed on a surface they can move with the user.

We were even able to test the biking desk (see video below)!  This is somewhat similar to the treadmill station that was released several years ago, which was basically a treadmill with a computer where one could work out while they surf the web or check e-mails.  The problem was that with so much upper body movement it was difficult to actually type or read.  The bike station makes it easy to actually work while burning calories.




The “Lounge Conference”

The lounge conference started to sneak its way into the industry a few years ago but this year the trend was everywhere and I mean, literally EVERYWHERE!  I don’t recall a furniture showroom that didn’t have it.

It’s no longer necessary to have a conference table in order to conduct a meeting.  Studies have actually shown us that when people sit closer to the floor in a lounge style setting, they are more relaxed and more willing to share, which in turn increases productivity during meetings and actually decreases meeting time.

The trend has been received reluctantly by most and has been only fully embraced by more daring clients that are willing to try new things.  The fact that it was so prevalent this year tells me that more clients are open to the idea and we can look forward to a new landscape of collaboration within the work environment.

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