The past year again upended what we thought we knew about the world of work. Questions surrounded the safe return to work, how to keep current employees engaged, while also attracting new talent, and what workplace products were right for the hybrid workplace.

The Heritage team has voted on our favourite workplace products and trends of 2021, to help prepare you for next year!

Favourite New Product of 2021: Flex Active Frames

storage and divder system with coats hanging and a whiteboard on the outside

Kicking off our countdown is our team’s favourite new product of 2021: the Steelcase Flex Active Frames! Active Frames are foundational elements that maximize space by creating team neighborhoods when implemented across a floorplan. Not only are they designed to divide space, but their multi-use functionality also creates ideal spaces for teams to do their best work.⁠

Our team loves the flexibility they offer, as both a space division and storage solution. ⁠”It’s more than just a divider in a space,” says Emily Guo, a member of the Heritage space planning team. “I love the customizable features!”

Favourite Collaboration Solution for Teams: Flex Mobile Power

mobile power unit powering two laptops

Our favourite collaboration solution for teams was the Flex Mobile Power. Designed and developed in collaboration with Anker, a global leader in charging technology, Steelcase Flex Mobile Power is the first of its kind enterprise-level mobile power solution for the workplace. ⁠

We love the portability of it, the ease of which we can power our devices regardless of where we’re working. Bonus – they also look great!⁠ Our CEO, Steve Cox, has been known to say the Flex Mobile Power is his best friend at work.

Favourite In Person Meeting Solution: Potrero415 Standing Height Table

a standing height table with wood legs with three blue stools

Our team’s favourite in-person meeting solution is the Coalesse Potrero415 standing height table! We love the option to sit or stand, especially in meetings, and can confirm the ones in our showrooms are frequently in use by teams for quick collaboration sessions or longer brainstorms. We also love the integrated power options.⁠ “It’s thoughtfully designed with a modern aesthetic that allows for a variety of power capabilities,” space planner Michelle Cameron says when asked why she loves the Potrero415. “This conference table can be easily set apart from the others for its versatility.”

Favourite Steelcase Brand/Partner: Viccarbe

cafe setting with two grey upholstered chairs and a mustard coloured sofa around a cafe table

Our favourite Steelcase brand/partnership of 2021 goes to Viccarbe! Designed in the sun. Viccarbe, located in Valencia, Spain, offers an award-winning portfolio distinguished by great simplicity, innovative elegance and a global awareness. Viccarbe strives to inspire Mediterranean experiences for social and collaborative spaces.⁠ “[Viccarbe has a] soft and cozy colour tone,” says senior accountant Amy Li. “It’s visually simplistic and relaxing, while also allowing for the efficient use of space.”

Favourite Solo Privacy Solution: Loop Phone Booths

two phone booths in an office hallway

Loop Phone Booths were our team’s favourite privacy solution in 2021. We love they are made by our friends in Alberta, and offer an easy way to implement extra privacy and focus space for the hybrid workplace. Our installers love it too, as it’s simple to install into a workspace and move around, depending on your need, with minimal disruption to the workplace. ⁠”Love the clean and rounded space design to the product,” says Nick Taylor, workplace consultant. “Also huge bonus that it is 100 per cent Canadian made!”

Favourite Education Solution: Elbrook Tables

classroom with uniquely shaped tables with painted orange bases

Our team’s favourite education solution in 2021 were the Steelcase Elbrook tables. We love the organic shapes (no corners!) welcoming students from any direction, and customizable options for both shape and colour, supporting active and hybrid learning environments.⁠ “The organic shapes allow users to select where they wish to seat at the table,” says Heritage President Liz Elliott. “No corners!:

Favourite Health Care Solution: Convey Modular Casework

modular casework in a hospital room

Our favourite health care solution is the Steelcase Convey Casework! We love the elevated level of choice the modular components offer health care spaces, supporting smart space planning and dynamic care needs. ⁠Our space planner specializing in Health Care design, Michelle Cameron, agrees. “It allows for a different versatile approach to traditional casework that is adaptable to any space. Its beautiful design can be used anywhere, while having the durability needed for Healthcare settings.”

Favourite “In-Between” Space Solution: Orangebox Border

upholstered benches with attached tables against a wall

Our team’s favourite solution for “in-between” spaces is the Orangebox Border! Maximize your real estate with this slim solution that can fit into underused spaces like hallways. Border allows collaboration areas to be created easily, anywhere. The table is positioned at both work and bar height, and includes the option of a power/data module within the structure to allow for it to become an effective work area.⁠

“I love that Border is a very impromptu meeting hub. It allows people to pause a moment while walking to or from somewhere, to carry on a conversation,” says space planner Janelle Hamilton. “It’s also so functional, with the table, and access to power. It has limitless placement possibilities.”

Favourite Office Décor: Blu Dot

a dresser made of wood with vases and a planter and a black lamp

Our team’s favourite office décor comes from the Blu Dot collection! Blu Dot is a Minneapolis-based designer and maker of modern furnishings, spanning multiple home and office categories. Blu Dot’s full product portfolio is available through the Steelcase partnership.⁠ “i love the contemporary look of Blu Dot designs,” says planner Emily Guo. “They fit into any space.”

Favourite Flexible Office Solution: Flex Collection

a collaboration area with stools, whiteboards, acoustic screens, lecterns and mobile displays

Our team’s favourite flexible office solution is the Steelcase Flex Collection! Designed for high-performing collaborative teams, the Flex Collection empowers teams to create spaces that can be rearranged on demand, creating environments teams and individuals need to do their best work. No matter what your requirement, the collection has something for everyone! “It’s such a large ecosystem of products that it doesn’t just solve for one specific group’s needs,” says Director of Sales Mike Meyer. “It’s truly flexible for any group.”

Favourite Workplace Trend of 2021: The Hybrid Workplace

collaboration area with some people working physically in office and some remote on screen

No surprises here: our team’s favourite workplace trend of 2021 was The Hybrid Workplace. Research suggests that the vast majority of companies are implementing some form of hybrid work, with employees in office part of the time and working from home or a third place part of the time.

Our team loves the flexibility this offers, recognizing that not everyone works well in a busy office environment, and desiring options for coming to the office or working from home depending on the type of work required. “A hybrid workplace strategy allows for days of focused work from the home office when needed, while still having access to our main office for creative and collaborative team work,” says workplace consultant James Holmes.

No matter what the future of work in 2022 has in store, Heritage Office is here for you! Contact one of our workplace experts today

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