June 13, 2016
Herman Miller Reveals Global Workplace Trends and New Product Introductions at NeoCon 2016
Company’s research identifies six key shifts in progressive workplaces; records increases in engagement and innovation in Living Office environments


  • Herman Miller identifies six distinct trends in how workplaces are being designed
  • Workers in Living Offices feel more creative and engaged; companies see increased productivity and innovation
  • Herman Miller’s numerous new products offer purposeful variety for contract, healthcare, and education markets

At NeoCon 2016, June 13-15, Herman Miller is sharing new insights into how people work, and the significant changes in the way spaces are being planned to support them. As the floorplate continues to shift towards settings beyond individual workstations, Herman Miller has identified six distinct ways that progressive organizations and their design partners are planning space differently–with greater variety, more opportunities for interaction, and a smarter use of resources. Herman Miller’s Living Office, the company’s holistic offering of knowledge, tools, products, and services designed to help people envision and realize higher performing environments, provides the framework to leverage these trends toward more purposeful and varied settings. The company’s research also reveals that companies that have developed Living Offices are seeing measurable results, with greater efficiency, productivity, and innovation. Herman Miller has applied these findings to product development, and the resulting introductions at NeoCon 2016 offer versatility and support for a range of activities across a workplace landscape.

Twenty months ago, Herman Miller researchers set out to gather meaningful data about how workplace design is evolving. As every organization implements agile and collaborative work practices in their own unique way, typical benchmarking units such as square feet per workstation or workstations per person would not be useful to customers or design professionals. To take an informative snapshot of changing office metrics, Herman Miller researchers analyzed the workplace landscapes of 120 progressive organizations around the world, from start-ups to enterprises, in a wide range of industries, from financial, insurance, and energy, to not-for-profit, media, and technology. By analyzing 70 distinct data points from each floorplan, Herman Miller has identified six trends in how organizations and their design partners are using Living Office placemaking strategies to support new ways of working:

  • Assigned seats are being replaced with flexible work-points: As portable technology allows people to work anywhere, at any time, assigned workstations are unoccupied for up to 60 percent of the day. While traditional floorplans show 97% assigned workstations, progressive workplaces have an average of 41% unassigned work-points.
  • Standard conference rooms are being replaced with multiple group space types: Groups engage in a variety of collaborative activities throughout the day, and workplaces that only offer conference rooms do not support all of them. Progressive flooplans show an average of six types of group settings, versus one in traditional workplace plans.
  • Conference spaces are being precision fit to minimize wasted space: Outsized conference rooms that only support formal presentations to large groups are largely underutilized. Progressive organizations offer a variety of right-sized meeting spaces to more effectively support a range of activities, downsizing from an average of conference room seating for 10 to seven meeting space seats.
  • Circulation space is being activated to foster connection: Rather than getting workers from point A to point B, circulation space can offer increased opportunities for effective activity and increased connectivity. Progressive workplaces have an average of 47% connective space, versus 33% of circulation space in traditional floorplans.
  • Isolated breakrooms are becoming centralized plazas: While distant breakrooms offer proximity to the small groups they serve, progressive companies want to foster broader social connection and information sharing. With four people per plaza seat versus 16 people per breakroom seat, centrally located gathering spaces encourage fortuitous interactions and help bring an organization’s culture to life.
  • Privacy is no longer a luxury given to a few, but available on-demand to anyone who needs it: Quiet places to think and recharge are beneficial to all, but traditional offices only offer one per every 67 people. A variety of private settings provided throughout the floorplan, at a ratio of 24 people per haven, allows all workers to find a place to focus or have a quiet conversation.

In addition to their research into how spaces are changing, Herman Miller researched Living Office workplaces and the employees and leaders who work in them. The results clearly indicate that Living Office has helped people feel more creative, more connected, and more engaged in their work. Companies are seeing greater efficiency, productivity, and innovation.

With the addition of over a dozen new products to Herman Miller’s purposefully varied offering, the company has restructured the presentation of workplace solutions to better support the purpose, character, and activities of the organizations, groups, and individuals that use them. This new structure offers organizations and their design partners a process for selecting and integrating these products into the workplace. Visitors to the Herman Miller showroom will walk through Landscape Systems such as Canvas, Layout Studio, and Public, solutions that offer the adaptability, variation, and modularity to meet a broad set of needs, as well as a cohesive design that harmonizes seamlessly across the floorplate. Augmenting these enterprise-ready Landscape Systems are Focused Portfolios, discrete solutions designed to meet precise needs of specific teams and their work. Focused Portfolios include Locale for high-performance teams, Metaform Portfolio for hyper-flexible, highly-customizable settings, and Renew Link for high-density settings that support extended periods of focused work. Throughout the showroom, guests will find garden-like respites that showcase the significant expansion of Herman Miller’s soft seating and lounge furnishings offer for the work, higher education, and healthcare markets. In a diverse offering of colors, materials, and finishes, the new lounge collections—including Plex, Striad, Spot, and Saiba—can help customers create places of purposeful variety.

Visitors to NeoCon 2016 can pause, connect, and revive in the South Lobby, which Herman Miller has transformed into a vibrant setting outfitted with a dynamic range of lounge furnishings—from iconic classics reimagined in fresh materials, to new introductions from Herman Miller and Geiger that redefine comfort in the workplace. As seen in the Herman Miller, Geiger, and Herman Miller Healthcare/Nemschoff showrooms upstairs, the South Lobby showcases more saturated palettes that demonstrate how colors, materials, and finishes can uniquely express and support the purpose, character, and activities of individuals and organizations.

About Herman Miller, Inc.
Herman Miller is a globally recognized provider of furnishings and related technologies and services. Headquartered in West Michigan, the global company has relied on innovative design for over 100 years to solve problems for people wherever they work, live, learn, and heal. Herman Miller’s designs are part of museum collections worldwide, and the company is a past recipient of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper Hewitt National Design Award. Known and respected for its leadership in corporate social responsibility, Herman Miller has been included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for the past 12 years, and has earned the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its Corporate Equality Index for the past nine years. In fiscal 2015, the company generated $2.14 billion in revenue and employed over 7,000 people worldwide. Herman Miller trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.