Wiesner-Hager at ORGATEC 2022: Modern office culture meets the circular economy

More than 650 exhibitors and 56,000 visitors are expected at ORGATEC in Cologne from 25 to 29 October. Under the motto "New Visions of Work", the trade fair, which is taking place again for the first time since 2018, will focus on the post-pandemic world of work and the accompanying new demands on manufacturers. Wiesner-Hager is the sole representative of the Austrian furniture industry at Europe's leading trade fair for modern working environments. The Upper Austrian enterprise will be showcasing new solutions that include creative and high-quality furniture for a contemporary office culture as well as agile office concepts and sustainability as the central pillars.

"Homeworking and remote working have caused many companies to reduce the amount of space they offer," emphasises Laura Wiesner, Managing Director of Wiesner-Hager since 2021. The countertrend that can now be observed of filling the office with life again, makes it necessary to optimise space by adopting flexible utilisation concepts. "The classic 'my desk' way of thinking is often no longer sustainable. It is being replaced by different zones that are suitable for different activities," Wiesner explains.

For years now, Wiesner-Hager has been working intensively on new approaches to solutions for future working environments, and these are being incorporated into current office projects ever more frequently: "Co-working units are available for teamwork, communication rooms equipped with multimedia for hybrid meetings and secluded focus zones for telephone calls or concentrated work without interruptions," says Wiesner, summarising the most important types of space. The furnishings reinforce the designated purpose of each particular area and establish a new working DNA that restores priority to office culture, while at the same time enabling agile and collaborative use of the office space. On the one hand, the goal is to optimise the quality and speed of work - rigid constructs and processes no longer have a place here; on the other hand, it is also about creating a place of collaboration that makes office spaces a viable alternative to homeworking once again. This recommendation also emerged from an employee survey conducted by the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering.

The classic 'my desk' way of thinking is often no longer sustainable. It is being replaced by different zones that are suitable for different activities
Laura Wiesner in front of a wooden wall.
Laura wiesner, Managing director wiesner-hager

Enhanced service package - success with office consulting

The profile of requirements for furniture manufacturers is changing in line with the innovations occurring in the world of work. Room concept, interior architecture, design, choice of colours and materials as well as project management form a comprehensive service package. Wiesner-Hager identified the trend towards New Work concepts many years ago and has successfully developed into an office consulting enterprise. This is also reflected in our current economic development which is already returning to that of the pre-COVID-19 period, despite the "storm clouds" affecting the market.

A high-quality working environment is another increasingly important factor in employer branding. "The demands of employees are on the rise, both in the workplace and in the home office. The conflicting priorities of space constraints and room for creativity must be ideally balanced," says Laura Wiesner. Her company has expanded its product portfolio accordingly. Alongside homely furnishings away from the traditional desk, Wiesner-Hager also offers height-adjustable office furniture, for example. This allows the user to alternate ergonomically between working in a sitting position and standing, which adds variety to their daily routine, promotes creativity and reduces the risk of health impairments caused by sitting for long periods of time.

Reducing CO2 emissions through a "circular economy" strategy

Modern office culture also entails responsibility which is why sustainable products are essential for Wiesner-Hager as an expression of a responsible office culture. The family-run business from Upper Austria is also a pioneer in this respect thanks to its new "circular economy" concept." We define ecological design criteria right from the product development stage in order to enable them to be reused at a later date. Used furniture is taken back, dismantled and many of its components are reused for another life cycle. The result is refurbished furniture that cuts CO2 and materials by 80 per cent - as in the case of paro, Austria's best-selling office chair," is how Laura Wiesner outlines the environmental impact of the future refurbed product line.

Generally speaking, it is essential to conserve resources and be transparent: Wiesner-Hager provides an environmental product declaration (EPD) for every piece of furniture in accordance with ISO 14025, which encompasses the entire life cycle from the extraction of raw materials to disposal and lists all the environmental impacts of the product. "Ultimately," concludes Managing Director Laura Wiesner, "the quality of our products is also a contribution to sustainability because quality equates to longevity - an important factor in terms of resource conservation and our carbon footprint."

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