June 15, 2015
Herman Miller Purposefully Applies Technology to Living Office Settings at NeoCon 2015
Herman Miller’s Living Office is a holistic offering of knowledge, tools, products, and services designed to help people envision and realize higher performing workplaces. At NeoCon 2015, June 15-17, Herman Miller has brought purpose to Living Office settings by harmonizing surroundings, furnishings, and tools, including technology, to create environments that support people and enable them to do their best work.
In today’s world of work, many organizations look to technology as a panacea to solve their problems with attraction and retention, engagement, productivity, and collaboration, among other concerns. Herman Miller believes that technology is a tool that is only effective when it is applied thoughtfully, in concert with the surroundings and furnishings in a space to support the needs of people.
Through work with hundreds of customers around the world, Herman Miller has learned that technology typically fails for two key reasons: The many stakeholders in the design process aren’t aligned, and they lack a complete understanding of the way people work today. Herman Miller is helping organizations fully realize and sustain the benefits of technology by encouraging them to shift from a linear workplace design process with standardized formulas and isolated teams to an integrated approach that puts people, rather than technology, first. This approach begins with questions such as, “What are people doing in a space? What are they trying to achieve? What are the best tools to help them work and interact in ways that feel natural?”
At NeoCon 2015, Herman Miller demonstrates this approach in ten Living Office settings, based on real world input from customers, where surroundings, furnishings, and tools are applied in concert to elevate the experience of work. Technology is woven into each setting in a purposeful way, as appropriate to support the type of work being done in the space.
Modeled after a fast-paced financial services company, one Hive Setting allows people working in close proximity to easily connect when they need to discuss an idea or quickly solve a problem. At shared benches, monitors with ergonomic supports enable periods of focused individual work. Large monitors throughout the space keep people abreast of news and breaking developments and can be used to display important organizational information—helping everyone align around goals. Easily accessible desktop power enables workers to plug in and power up personal technology so they can be constantly connected on multiple devices.
In contrast to the multiple forms of technology offered to support the needs of workers in the finance Hive, a nearby Clubhouse Setting is designed to support a magazine’s creative team whose work relies upon visual and manual access to analog materials. Clubhouse Settings are uniquely designed for high-performance teams charged with creativity and innovation, to allow both cognitive and social skills to flourish. In this example Clubhouse, large monitors are purposefully absent, to reduce distraction and allow the team to focus on the creation of layout boards using the materials posted around the space.
Herman Miller demonstrates two Meeting Space Settings at NeoCon, both designed to support the types of activities that happen within. In one Meeting Space, the surroundings, furnishings, and tools are configured to enhance the presentation and discussion of content in a small group. To support this, a single, large monitor is oriented so that everyone has a clear line of sight to the presenter, and can focus on the content being presented.
A second Meeting Space is optimized for conversations between local and remote participants. A large-format interactive display with a digital portal connects people with co-workers and content around the world. The teardrop-shaped table allows a clear line of sight between local and remote participants, and also eliminates the traditional head of the table spot, giving all participants the sense that they are important contributors to the meeting
Herman Miller believes that a design approach aligned around a current understanding of people and their work can bring balance to the surroundings, furnishings, and tools in a setting. At NeoCon 2015, Herman Miller demonstrates a deep understanding of people and work, research-based placemaking, and the value of a broad portfolio of furnishings and tools, including technology, applied with purpose to elevate the experience of work.
About Herman Miller
Herman Miller’s inspiring designs, inventive technologies, and strategic services help people do great things and organizations perform at their best. The company’s award-winning products and services generated approximately $2.1 billion in revenue in fiscal 2015. A past recipient of the Smithsonian Institution's Cooper Hewitt National Design Award, Herman Miller designs can be found in the permanent collections of museums worldwide. Innovative business practices and a commitment to social responsibility have also helped establish Herman Miller as a recognized global leader. Herman Miller maintains the Human Rights Campaign Foundation’s top rating in its annual Corporate Equality Index and was named among the 50 Best U.S. Manufacturers by Industry Week in 2014. Herman Miller is included in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index and trades on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol MLHR.