October 31, 2022

When we think about healthcare, what comes to mind? Insurance, hospitals, doctors, patients are probably the first things that popped into you mind. We typically think about everything else other than how furniture and design impacts healthcare users: the patients, guests, and caregivers.

It took a virus that shutdown most parts of the world to rethink the healthcare workplace, shifting the focus onto creating an intentional work environment that addresses employee values and priorities through furniture. During COVID, our hospital employees were on the frontline- working extended hours, sacrificing time with their loved ones, and, most importantly, putting their well-being aside to put patients’ needs first. Because of the labor shortage of essential workers, many felt burned-out and have moved away from the healthcare industry in search of employers that will help support their mental well-being through benefits and policies. After experiencing a worldwide pandemic, the focus has switched to reimagining and redesigning the employee experience in healthcare- where remote work isn’t possible- so building spaces to reflect the value caregivers bring has become as essential as the workers themselves.

Showcased by many different booths at the Healthcare Design expo (HCD), manufacturers made it apparent that they too have recognized this need, demonstrating their ability to push design limits in healthcare, encouraging healing, productivity, comfort, and employee retention. Last month Elizabeth Harris and Jeff Durr, two of our dedicated CE Healthcare team members, attended the HCD Expo + Conference in Houston, Texas. Many key vendors, including Millerknoll, Kwalu, OFS | Carolina, Wieland, and Global, showcased creative solutions to foster flexibility, collaboration, and workload management in the workplace. The CE duo engaged with client Levino Jones from Medical Interiors, known for designing medical offices and outpatient centers, and dove headfirst into the importance of having the right furniture and design in healthcare spaces to improve patient satisfaction, retain employees, and provide durable solutions. Designing spaces in healthcare can be complex because it requires striking a balance between efficiency and the extensive planning required in high occupancy and contagious areas. In the end, having the right furniture and design in healthcare serves both the overall employee well-being and patient experience.

At the HCD Expo, Weiland introduced the new Soul Sofa + Soul Mate that will launch in Spring 2023, guests were able to see it first in San Antonio, Texas. This flexible and unique product was the winner of the Nightingale committee’s Innovation award, naming it the premium multi-functional solution. Corporate Environments Healthcare Director Jeff Durr described it as “the cleverest product launch on the floor that will impact the spaces we manage the most”. This new product will be vital in transforming healthcare spaces and recalibrating the approach to workplace culture and productivity.

Coming soon: See what’s new at Wieland – the Amari Recliner is now available! (wielandhealthcare.com)

Similarly, OFS|Carolina had the largest booth on the floor, demonstrating its well-designed craft. They featured products like the Sorta multi-use chair, the Kyte lounge, and the Neom modular lounge highlighting solutions in healthcare spaces that promote comfort, multi-use, and, most importantly, healing for all.

Designed by Henner Jahns, the Sorta multi-use chair provides flexibility in healthcare spaces, showcasing various usage options for caregivers and patients in shared rooms, caregiver + patient areas, learning spaces to complete paperwork, armrests for blood drawing, and much more.

Additionally, the Kyte lounge chair enhances any space with beauty and elegance. This featured product can play any role, from soothing to classic, with its base options that include a rocker, swivel, or metal base. The Kyte Lounge chair is quote versatile, being used in lobby areas, caregiver multipurpose areas, senior living resident areas, and any other healthcare space you can imagine. 


The Neom Modular lounge product transforms waiting areas and public spaces in healthcare by enhancing the waiting experience for patients and resting areas for caregivers. Because reception areas are the first interactions for every patient, providing comfortable and powered lounging pieces conveys thoughtfulness and care for patients, easing their wait experience. With its clean-thru design and power supply option Neom connects and supports patients reducing stress while promoting well-being.

At some point in our lifetimes, we have all played the role of the patient, caregiver, and guest. Did you ever feel something was missing – a wider seat, a modular desking option, or a simple multi-use chair? Following the 2020 worldwide pandemic, design in healthcare has become more pertinent than ever. Healthcare spaces need to provide the right furniture and design for their caregivers and patients. As seen in the HCD Expos, designing environments for caregivers will increase their efficiency and effectiveness and cultivate a workplace that prioritizes its employees as well as its patients.

In the comments below share with us your thoughts about how furniture has impacted your well-being.

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