Across the country and around the world, clients and their employees are seeking spaces that are less stuffy, less corporate-feeling. They’re slipping away from formal workstations and stepping into spaces that are more casual, comfortable, versatile, inspiring and residential in feel. The trend is central to what we’ve come to see as an office renaissance.
The term that’s often used to describe these alternate spaces—and the furniture within them—is “ancillary.” One straight-from-the-dictionary definition of ancillary is “auxiliary, supplementary.” And that starts to get at the kind of furniture we’re talking about—furniture that acts as a complement to workers’ primary personal workspaces.
Let’s see if we can push this definition a bit further.
What is ancillary furniture?
Ancillary furniture is a range of products that furnish an organization’s less-formal settings and support a range of postures. This is furniture for office lounges, in-between spaces, enclaves, conference rooms, patios, work cafés and other collaborative spaces—areas that don’t represent workers’ primary work settings but that are becoming increasingly vital in contemporary work life. Examples of ancillary office furniture include lounge chairs, stools, benches, sofas, side chairs, end tables, coffee tables and bistro tables.
As you’re likely seeing in your clients’ projects, ancillary is becoming the heart of the office, and we believe it’s here to stay.
The test of time
That third characteristic, performance, is worth taking a closer look at in this context.
The performance of a client’s furniture is what makes it work for the employee and the organization, both today and down the road. It’s the result of manufacturing standards that are geared to rugged commercial use, even when products have a residential look and feel. Residential furniture from mainstream sources may look great at the start, but they don’t have what it takes to withstand the rigors of everyday office use. Our office lounge and other ancillary furniture pieces are built to last.
Performance is tied to sustainability, too. Throughout the design and manufacturing processes, we make choices that extend the lifespan of our products. When our furniture outlasts our clients’ needs, as it sometimes does, we have programs to keep products out of the landfill, through reuse and recycling options.
Our NeoCon 2017 showroom highlighted several inventive ancillary offerings, both the timeless and the new. To have a look, click through our NeoCon Pinterest board. For more ideas, see our ancillary board or flip through the slideshow above.