The commercial interiors industry will convene to present and discuss the latest solutions and strategies for the workplace at NeoCon, October 4-6, North America’s most important gathering of commercial interior design experts. Leading into the show, industry leaders are putting the finishing touches on the new product innovations that will impact the offices and other shared spaces of the future. Whether it’s tents and pergolas especially designed for both individual and collaborative work, products for a neurodiverse workforce, flooring that incorporates biophilic patterns, or dynamic furniture systems ideal for flexibility, manufacturers at NeoCon will showcase solutions that contribute to the inclusive, efficient, and user-focused workplaces critical to the well-being of and retention of today’s workforce.

"For more than 50 years, NeoCon has helped launch product solutions that meet, and even anticipate, needs and trends in the workplace and other shared spaces. NeoCon 2021 is no different — architects, designers, and facility managers in attendance will get a first look at thousands of product launches from the best manufacturers in the industry," remarks, Byron Morton, Vice President of NeoCon.

Here are some top workplace trends and products to be featured at NeoCon 2021: 

Accounting for Mental Health and Neurodiversity 

Employee wellness has been a major consideration in office design for many years, but mental wellbeing is coming into greater focus. According to a recent study, 74% of all workers, including 88% of those ages 18-24, say poor mental health has impacted their productivity (Aetna International’s 2020 Employee Health Study). In addition to reducing anxiety, which is at an all-time high due to the pandemic, research indicates the need for workplaces and solutions that accommodate a neurodiverse workforce. 

Kay Sargent, a NeoCon 2021 presenter and director of WorkPlace for global design and architecture firm HOK, remarks, “Approximately 15 to 20 percent of people are ‘neurodivergent,’ meaning they have one of a collection of conditions that include autism spectrum disorder, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and dyslexia. Versatile environments that provide for a range of options give users more control and choice, fostering equality, integration, and helping to reduce anxiety. Flexible layouts and work solutions individuals can self-select for different kinds of work also contribute to a healthier, more functional and inclusive workplace.” 

Elevating the Office Environment

Employee expectations have changed, and workplaces need to not only be safe, socially distant and clean, but also comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. Flooring brands have innovated collections to stylishly ground any office space, both literally and figuratively. Mohawk Group connects workers to the peaceful, natural world through its Data Tide collection, which was created using data sets from environmental studies of greenhouse gases to create biophilic patterns that weave a distinct, visual narrative about the immense role bodies of water play in our world. Armstrong Flooring’s Exchange invigorates and inspires employees with soft pastels and rich, saturated tones and a visual texture that adds depth and interest under foot.

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