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Top three takeaways from NeoCon

NeoCon is usually focused on the future, but this year it appears that the trends driving the future in office furniture and design are based on the past. Specifically, the recent past. We all know that the office world has been upended by COVID-19 in the past 18 months, and this is changing how we see the office of today and tomorrow. But we have noticed that many other factors are also having a major impact on the current direction of the workplace. Here are the top three takeaways from NeoCon.

NeoCon 2021

Hybrid work models are still being defined

Most showrooms had homeworking solutions built into their promotions and displays. From multi-functional furniture to colours and textures that blend in better with residential environments, the industry’s investment in this area was clear. But what was also clear is that no one knows exactly what that hybrid model of work will look like. Not all companies will have the same policies and benefits. Furthermore, many companies are talking about downsizing, which will change their office environments completely. All these factors and unknowns have the industry as a whole wondering: ‘what’s next?’. But that might not be a bad thing. It opens the door to creative thinking and innovation. Leaving more opportunities for unique designs and ideas to be brought to both the home and the corporate office.

Hybrid office work: adjustable office desk in the home and at the office.

How will people connect?

We may be a little less virtual in the future, but virtual working will remain a major part of how we connect in the future. Some work environments may shift more towards hubs for employees, as many still work from home. You could see this theme playing out at NeoCon as well. Companies were highlighting ways to keep people connected through meeting and collaborative spaces and integrating virtual solutions with in-person capabilities. Connection with customers is important but connecting with your own colleagues and employees may be just as important in the big scheme of things. Embracing new technology and investing in products that promote a collaborative and connected work environment are going to be important for productivity, morale, job satisfaction and even recruitment. Staying connected may be the key to success for businesses.

Office workers digitally connected at large desk

Sustainability is getting the attention it deserves

As people and companies took time to reflect on what mattered most during the beginning of the pandemic, one thing kept rising to the top: sustainability. This was evident in a ThinkLab Survey of the Design Industry in 2020, which revealed that 47% of design clients are placing more value on products that contribute to LEED or Well. Sustainability was extremely visible throughout the Mart during NeoCon, so much so that an entire showroom was dedicated to the focus area by Metropolis Magazine. The space was called the Sustainability Lab, where many different companies highlighted their activities and products in support of a more sustainable future.

Lecture about sustainability in office room

There are also some unspoken movements that seem be building momentum, such as colour trends. Every year the industry tends to focus on a new colour, and there are some efforts to slow this trend down and reduce the impact it has on the environment. When everyone wants their products in the latest colours, it often creates waste as previous colours and products are pushed out.

With the next NeoCon only eight months away, it won’t be long before we see what the industry is planning next for the workplace. One thing we do know is that there are many things happening around the office, and we will no doubt see innovative and creative designs that move us into new and exciting directions.


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Facts about NeoCon

NeoCon is the world’s leading platform and one of the most important events of the year for the commercial design industry, taking place at the MART, Chicago, Illinois.

Where did the name NeoCon come from? You might be surprised. It has been over 50 years since the annual event started as the National Exposition of Contract Interior Furnishings. NeoCon has a better ring to it.

At NeoCon, LINAK is placed at Stand 10-100 and here you can experience some of the many ways LINAK can revolutionise your workplace with our advanced movement solutions - featuring unique technologies and solutions at the forefront of linear actuator design. From conference rooms and office desks to media stands and adjustable privacy panels, we bring a wide range of lifting columns, controls, and digital integrated solutions to help bring movement to anywhere in the office.


Office workers standing and sitting at ergonomic and adjustable office desks in a modern office

Offices are changing, but desks are here to stay
If you ask ten people of different ages what they believe belongs in an office, most of them will probably answer: a desk. It is actually surprising that many futurologists consider the desk to be a "dying species". For them, the future work scene looks quite different: lounging on a sofa, chatting with colleagues in a ski lift chair placed in the middle of a meeting room and brainstorming new creative ideas during a walk through the Zen Garden that has been planted next to the company building. Brave new world. Who wouldn't want to work this way?


Office worker sitting and standing at an office desk. DL1: the revolutionary “electric leg” for desks invented by LINAK.

The story behind the sit-stand desk
From catching the industry by surprise in the 1990s to igniting a global trend, here is how we helped change the office landscape. LINAK was the first to market with its revolutionary electric adjustable sit-stand desk concept: Today, 10 million electric desk systems later, they still lead the industry, constantly setting new benchmarks for innovation, quality and design. Where we lead, others follow. Explore how - and why LINAK and sit-stand desks are so closely linked.


Don't leave your ergonomics at the office

Don’t leave your ergonomics at the office!
In our new normal, many of us have traded office desks for kitchen tables. And even if global events move us back to the workplace soon, working from home in some form or fashion is here to stay. Dr. Mark Benden and Martha Parker of the Texas A&M University Ergo Center have plenty of tips and tricks for those facing the challenges of working from home now and in the not-so-distant future.


Watch the video about the DL PLUS design of lifting columns play-icon

DL PLUS™ lifting columns designed to inspire

Desk Panels DPG – Designed to shape behaviour play-icon

Desk Panels DPG – Designed to shape behaviour


MOVE – Why sit-stand desks increase work performance

Reduce sick days and create a modern office environment with electric sit-stand desks. An attractive investment for employers and their employees.

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