Insights on the Future of Work from Orgatec 2022
After a break of 4 long years, Orgatec 2022 at Cologne was an event everyone in the Office Furniture industry was looking forward to. Held between 25th October to 29th October, Orgatec 2022 saw the participation of 686 exhibiting companies from 43 countries and was a major success with over 45,000 trade visitors from more than 130 countries visiting the fair. Even before the pandemic, the trade fair had successfully evolved to become an industry-oriented event but this year, ORGATEC has given a spectacular demonstration of its continued relevance for the future development of the Office Furniture and workspace industry. The exhibitors at Orgatec highlighted ongoing trends and upcoming products and innovations in workspace planning, design, interiors, and furniture. We are sharing here the key insights we had at the fair and what we think will drive the trends for the office furniture industry in 2023 and the coming years.
1. The office as a hub for Collaboration and Exchange of ideas
We believe that despite the trend of work-from-home or work-from-anywhere continuing in the future, offices will not become less important, but will actually gain in importance. But their primary function will change significantly. Working environments must evolve into places of collaboration, exchange, and creativity, but without neglecting the possibility of concentrated work. They must therefore become more multifunctional and flexible.
2. Privacy and collaboration can co-exist
While we noticed the trend for office spaces as places to collaborate and exchange ideas, we also experienced a distinct focus on the need for privacy, evidenced by a plethora of acoustic booths at almost every stall in Orgatec. We really liked the Hush Office by #Mikomax which seemed well-considered across the single, dual, and meeting-sized booths. They had very good lighting, ventilation, acoustics, and fittings in our opinion.
3. Break out Areas
From traditional office breakout furniture to soft seating that can be incorporated into any environment, this was a distinct design trend at Orgatec. Several brands featured modular, functional, and sustainable furniture to create work environments that can be easily customized and tailored to the needs of the moment as breakout sitting or lounge areas.
This has been a buzzword at most exhibitions in recent times, but what we saw at Orgatec 2022 was quite interesting. Several companies were talking about Net Zero and making sustainable products using bio ingredients but the highlight was ‘Path’ - claimed by Humanscale to be The World's Most Sustainable Chair. However, my take is that sustainability at a price that is unaffordable by most will probably have very few takers and therefore not really achieve the objective of building a better planet. Our opinion is that sustainability will become more commonplace and widely prevalent, as customers demand more of it and will have to be at similar or only slightly higher prices than existing products.
5. Hybrid & Flexible Offices with Smart Technologies
Manufacturers and Office Furniture retailers or distributors will need to look at the concept of hybrid, flexible offices that affect the behavior of office users and the corresponding strategies of companies. New hybrid work models or remote work pose new challenges for the office industry and office work. Under the leadership of Zgoll: GmbH, companies such as Cisco, Samsung, Sony, and Telekom presented what future-oriented working worlds could look like. The fair demonstrated how work environments with integrated, holistic concepts consisting of changed work processes, sensible and seamless transitions between home office and office, with dynamic floor plans are fast becoming a reality. Through the combination of existing building technology with intelligent sensor technology and the homogeneous use of collaboration and booking tools, all employees can find the right workstation for exactly their tasks and requirements every day and remain in a shared exchange regardless of location.
I foresee that these will be the most important trends that will shape the office furniture industry in the coming years and we at Stellar are determined to ensure that our distribution partners and customers across 80+ countries who rely on us as a stable reliable manufacturing partner will be able to get the latest cutting edge products from us at the most reasonable prices.
We also work closely with several architects and interior design companies worldwide, providing end-to-end support for commercial and workspace projects, including 3D support, Layout planning, and Rendering as part of our services on request without any cost.
I hope you enjoyed this post and will look forward to your comments & suggestions. The next "Orgatec" international trade fair for the modern working world - will take place from 22 to 26 October 2024 and we will be there again to participate and share our industry insights.
- Arihant Nahar
CEO, Stellar Global