ORGATEC, the leading trade fair for modern workspaces, took place end of October 2022. For one week, trade fair visitors had the opportunity to become part of the discourse on workspaces for tomorrow and experience products for office and knowledge work live. Where will we work in the future? How do we have to rethink workspaces? How will we organise work and how do we deal with current challenges? Digital transformation, sustainability, resilience and the desire to welcome employees back to the office more often are just some of the issues that companies are currently dealing with. So, what remains of ORGATEC, which topics will we take with us?
Humans come into focus
The fact that humans have moved into the focus of spatial design concepts could be experienced live by the fair visitors at many booths. In the future, more user-centred space concepts will be created that take people and their needs more seriously and develop office designs based on individual preferences
Not only community-oriented planning, but also more agile should find their way into the world of the office furniture industry. At ORGATEC, standardised working worlds and corresponding analysis tools were on display. New workshop and design thinking modules support prototyping and consistent trial and error as core elements of a more volatile and flexible working world.
The office as a space for communication and interaction
In times of hybrid work models, the reasons for going to the office have changed. While focused individual work is often done remotely, employees and teams come to the office primarily for communication and interaction. Socialising (oder engaging) with colleagues, developing new projects together in the coffee kitchen and discussing creative problem-solving approaches – this is particularly possible with modern seating landscapes, atmospheric event and work areas. The range of products offered in the ORGATEC exhibition halls were correspondingly diverse. Especially noticeable here were also many flexible elements that can always be combined in new ways and a segment that ORGATEC has hardly covered so far: furniture for outdoor areas or the transition between indoors and outdoors.
Focus on acoustics
When employees are asked about the stresses and strains of everyday work, poor acoustics in the workplace are repeatedly mentioned. With hybrid work and the switch between digitally supported communication and face-to-face exchanges, new challenges are emerging, especially in communication. Numerous ORGATEC exhibitors showed that many good solutions can be found with thoughtful planning. From acoustic panels and sound screens to sound-insulated concentration areas and meeting boxes, many innovative products were available for visitors to experience first-hand.
Sustainability is trump
Climate change, limited resources and initiatives to introduce a circular economy are just some of the factors that are making sustainable office concepts increasingly important. At ORGATEC, visitors could not only get inspired by many domestic and European manufacturers or find out about the possibilities for recycling products that have already been used. The special “Materials4Future” area by materials expert Prof. Dr Sascha Peters also showed innovative examples of sustainable product solutions that will change the interior of workspaces and public areas.
However we will work in the future, hybrid, multi-local, virtual: ORGATEC 2022 made it clear how important it is to rethink work and to make spatial designs more user-centred and diverse in many areas. New perspectives, more versatile working environments and the courage to give innovative concepts a chance are needed in the office. With the spirit of a leading trade fair for the modern working world, ORGATEC has done just that: rethinking the design of spatial concepts and clearing the way for new perspectives.