The New Workplace Design: Hotelification
September 30, 2022
Neocon returns after a hiatus with the hotelification concept.
Since 1969, Neocon has been established as the industry leading commercial interior design event showcasing ideas that will transform workplace environments. Neocon continues that tradition today, still recognized as the most valuable with a high-attendance rate event for designers, manufacturers, and dealers to discover people, products, and upcoming trends. This year, Neocon’s exhibitors showcased designs with warm, welcoming, and collaborative layouts to visually share the future of office spaces – the hotelification concept. This concept portrays the need to blend the digital and physical realms, promoting a new way of working and creating a positive work experience for everyone.
After taking a hiatus during the pandemic, Neocon 2022 was the launchpad for the hotelification concept. This year, Neocon was back, lines were longer, elevators were full, and showrooms were buzzing with activity. Chicago was alive again. TheMart had thrill, design, and innovation on full display. Again – it was back with a stronger statement – new designs for the new way of working. Because the world is constantly changing, office models are also evolving – staying up to date and putting employees/clients first, and those tenants will remain a priority now and in the future.
The new hotelification concept derives from the resimercial trend that started before the pandemic. The combination between life and work has become interconnected, and the lines are no longer visible. The new way of designing office spaces has ceased to be linear. This new model includes privacy spaces, collaborative spaces that provide technology to support virtual meetings, stand-alone stations & single-person stations that support collaboration, café-like meeting areas, and kitchens. With the inclusion of a new layout, employers aim to bring employees back into the office and create an exciting work culture.
Flexibility, inclusion, and mental health were conversation points at Neocon. Many businesses are now designing their office spaces to provide flexibility, inclusivity, and wellness spaces for employees to decompress and take mental breaks. Pre-pandemic, the resimercial concept combined residential and commercial bringing a home-like feel into the workplace with café-style rooms, office lounge areas, and kitchens to optimize the work-life culture. Fast-forward to today with an increased demand for work-life balance, making the ability to transform the office space that encompasses both a residential and commercial feel vital. The layout of the office space is moving away from a desk, chair, and white walls into a more inviting, warm area with wood accents and soft, muted colors, such as golds, purples, blues, greens, and reds.
Creating a flexible work culture starts by providing spaces that support technology for those that are working remotely to seamlessly collaborate with those that are in the office. Flexibility includes working areas, desks, lounge furniture, individual pods, and café areas. The goal is to provide furniture in office spaces to create a comfortable work experience. Pre-pandemic, sitting at a desk was a tradition; now, more people have acclimated to working on various furniture pieces and collaborating virtually. Corporate Environments has implemented this concept in recent projects, such as its collaboration with Knoll in the Cooper Carry office renovation. Cooper Carry had a vision, the vision of creating their headquarters into a hybrid way of working to increase the number of employees coming back into the office. Read the story: The Future is Flexible – Knoll
There has also been a rise in inclusive design to foster workplace environments and promote greater employee inclusion in all organizations. Workstations provide an opportunity for team collaboration, individual work time, and a space where everyone feels welcomed and part of a team. Many showrooms implemented rounded corner furniture and layouts. The purpose was to create a more inviting sense of inclusivity for employees and clients. As seen in GreyStone Power’s recent project, they wanted to develop a collaboration-friendly environment designed to attract new talent and retain longtime employees. Read the story of how Greystone reimagined their workspace partnering with Corporate Environments and design firm Smallwood. Powered Up! – Knoll
Providing wellness spaces in different office areas promotes employee productivity and increases employee retention. Offices are moving away from the conference-like room into spaces where employees can have a moment to decompress or collaborate. The biophilic design has become a solution and lesson learned to bridge the gap between nature and work. Bringing in the biophilic designs creates a more natural, comfortable, and relaxing space people have acclimated to during the pandemic. Many firms are implementing woods accents, warm-muted color palettes, biophilia, and privacy & collaborative spaces.
Not only has there been a change in workplace design, but also in how people work. Post-COVID, remote work has become prevalent. It is a new working method – a method that is not leaving. Many businesses have transitioned to hybrid working, while others have entirely transitioned to 100% remote working. The changing landscape of how and where people work will continue to evolve as we work towards the post-COVID era and workplace design will evolve alongside it. There has been an increase in people switching jobs for many reasons, one being the flexibility of hybrid working. The pandemic was a launchpad for employees to assess their values and determine if their employer offers those opportunities; people are not settling anymore.
Do you agree with the hotelification approach? In the comments below, share why or why not.
Are you ready to transition and renovate your space into a more resimercial workplace?
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