NeoCon 2023: Employee Experience is More Than Software

June 14, 2023

A few weeks back I received an invitation to attend NeoCon 2023, the world’s leading event and showcase for the commercial interior design industry. Located at the famous Chicago landmark The Mart, and with nearly 1 million square feet of exhibition space, NeoCon featured innovative products and services from more than 400 leading companies and emerging players as well as industry partners — providing unparalleled access to the latest and most innovative solutions in commercial design.

As a part of the NeoCon experience, I was also able to participate as a juror in the Best of NeoCon Awards, in the category of “Business Impact” – an award that looks at new products across a number of criteria – ergonomics, effect on productivity, wellbeing, sustainability and more, and selects the very best designs and products for their potential beneficial impacts on work and workplaces.

We saw so many interesting and innovative designs from high-tech desks and task chairs, to lounge seating, to furniture and flooring designed for meditation rooms, and much more – it was definitely challenging to select this year’s group of winners. And after a good bit of spirited debate in the “jury room”, the following companies and products were chosen as Business Impact Award winners:

Krossi Workstations – Schiavello

Krossi Workstation

Moment Collection – Makr Furniture

Moment Collection

4-Up – Via Seating

4 - Up - Via Seating

Bolete Lounge BIO – Andreu World

Bolete Lounge

Tate  – OFS

Tate - OFS

Lives Post + Beam – Okamura

Lives Post + Beam


These designs were selected from among the dozens of entrants and reflect well the impact that the physical workspace, the elements and components it contains, and the way these elements are conceived, designed, and manufactured have on the world of work and people in the workplace. In HR technology, we spend so much time and attention on the “employee experience” that we can sometimes, if not often, think that workplace software and technology tools are the primary or even sole shaper and driver of employee experience. Spending even a little time learning about the thought processes behind chairs, desks, meeting spaces, flooring, acoustics and more was a wake up call of sorts. For me, NeoCon was a great lesson and reminder that not all workplace technology is software, and that the environments, seating, walls, ceilings, floors, desks, chairs, lighting, acoustics and much more – all play an important role in employee experience, wellbeing, productivity, and creating amazing workplaces.

Thanks so much to everyone at NeoCon for welcoming us at H3 HR Advisors and we hope that we can be a part of NeoCon family moving forward.

Note: to learn more about the winning organizations, please find them on LinkedIn, or on their corporate websites linked above.

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