News from IBA

Office furniture industry as a driver for new working environments

The Office and Work Environment Industry Association  reports a positive sales trend in the first months of 2022 and is looking forward with anticipation to ORGATEC 2022, where the industry intends to provide impetus for a sustainable working environment and for employer attractiveness.

Aug 02 2022

The office furniture industry has started the ORGATEC year with a strong tailwind. Around three months before the leading international trade fair for modern working environments takes place in Cologne (October 25 to 29), manufacturers can look back on a successful first half of the year. Above all, holistic workplace design has become decisively more important to employers during this period, as shown by demand and sales.

Sales increase due to more holistic solutions

Overall, the Office and Workplace Industry Association (IBA) reports an increase in sales in office furniture production of 10 percent - compared to the same period last year - to just under EUR 1.2 billion for the first half of 2022. After a long period in which demand was primarily for seating furniture and the focus was on furnishing individual communication zones in addition to equipping home office workplaces, demand is now shifting. This is underlined by a 15.4 percent increase in office furniture, which increasingly includes more complex equipment in addition to the classic work desk and cabinets. However, sales of seating furniture have also risen since the beginning of the year, but only by 4.2 percent.

Overall concepts for new demand profiles

"Comprehensive office solutions are in demand that take into account the changing requirements for attractive, often hybrid office workplaces. Employers want to invest here and, in addition to equipment, are also asking for qualified consulting services from our members and our partners from the planning and specialist trade," says IBA Chairman Helmut Link, explaining the current trend. Given this setting, the industry is very much looking forward to ORGATEC in Cologne.

Increased demand at home and abroad

Companies throughout Europe have recognized this and are focusing on a suitable redesign of their office workspaces. While many employers were still hesitant in the previous year, in recent months not even the volatile general conditions could slow down the desired change so far: both in Germany (plus 11.9 percent) and abroad (plus 4.8 percent), there was an increase in sales compared to the previous year. The average export ratio fell slightly from 26.8 percent at the turn of the year to 26.0 percent now.

Well thought-out interaction thanks to consulting expertise

As the IBA and its members emphasize, when it comes to shaping the upcoming transformation, it's not just a matter of finding the right products, e.g., for teamwork spaces, project-based work, hybrid meetings and new learning worlds. 
In addition to creating functional conditions for work in the office, in the home office and in third locations, it is also becoming increasingly important to strengthen employee loyalty to the company, to make culture visible and tangible, and to present oneself as an attractive employer. This requires specific impulses that fit each company. 

Anticipation in challenging times

ORGATEC now once again provides the opportunity to experience possible design solutions for sustainable workplace design in person. In this context, exhibitors are hoping for further impetus for the industry economy, in addition to many personal contacts and discussions.

IBA Forum as a digital industry platform for ORGATEC

In the run-up to ORGATEC, the IBA is also creating a supplementary digital feature to the trade fair. Exhibitors have the opportunity to expand their trade fair presence with a presence on the IBA Forum, the digital industry platform and competence center for the working world of tomorrow. Here, products and design concepts can be experienced in the virtual showrooms even beyond the trade fair period.

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