Bringing Home to Work: ‘Resimercial’ office products dominate at NeoCon

AS SEEN IN: –  After years of shifting between private spaces and open office floor plans, the office furniture industry seems to have settled on a happy medium.

Instead of providing a one-size-fits-all solution to its customers, office furniture manufacturers are offering a suite of products that balance collaboration with privacy. Moreover, their products are making office environments look more like residential settings than ever before. 

The shift to residential-minded furniture — dubbed “resimercial” by executives — portends more similar products in the future, according to industry sources.

Proponents of the resimercial trend believe creating a warmer and more welcoming setting goes a long way toward attracting and retaining workers, as well as increases productivity. 

“For a long time, corporate America found itself with employees going off site to have some of the most important meetings that should really be happening on site,” said Mark Kinsler, president of Holland-based Trendway Corp. “The question you’d have to ask yourself is: Why would that happen? Well, corporate America hadn’t designed spaces to accommodate those kinds of environments. It’s always attributed to the millennials, but I’m not sure that’s the case. I think all of us like to have comfortable spaces. And where are you the most comfortable? Typically at home.”

Therefore, the charge for office furniture manufacturers comes in answering the question: “Can you bring some of those elements into my space and make me feel like I’m not in an institutional setting but a residential-like setting,” Kinsler said.

Evidence of the resimerical trend spread throughout this year’s annual NeoCon office furniture trade show in Chicago. The show floor was full of products in warm pastel colors, as well as vibrant upholstery and carpeting. It also featured lounge furniture and conference tables that looked more fitting for a dining room than a corporate boardroom. 

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