Today’s Trend: My-We-Be Workspaces for Office Furniture

By Karen Koenig | Posted: 07/08/2014 9:25AM


Steelcase Quiet SpacesSteelcase Quiet Spaces JSI BeSpaceJSI: BeSpace I wouldn’t say I’m an introvert, but I do need some quiet time at work. That’s why I was excited this year to see the trending back to a “me” space as opposed to all “we” open-area office environments.

Among the many companies to feature quiet workspaces, Steelcase made a splash with its Quiet Spaces, a collection designed “to leverage the quiet strength of introverts.” The contract furniture giant collaborated with bestselling author Susan Cain to create Susan Cain Quiet Spaces by Steelcase, five workspaces designed to help introverts and those needing quiet or privacy, along with a comfortable environment in which to work.

“Every organization has introverts and a lot of them. This large segment of the workforce is going through the day, just trying to get by in an office environment not designed to support their needs,” said Steelcase CEO Jim Keane in a statement. Added Cain, “Contrary to popular beliefs, introverts are not shy, they simply respond to stimulation differently. If introverts go into a space that’s too noisy or cacophonous, it places extra cognitive load on their thought process, which doesn’t need to be there if you want to help them do their best thinking.”

“Privacy, quiet and solitude are essential to creativity and innovation, and to leadership,” she said. “Quiet Spaces are a way to bring those elements back into the workplace.”

Also on display at NeoCon, JSI Furniture looked to bridge the gap between the “me” and “we” spaces with its BeSPACE collection of seating and caseworks. Designed by Qdesign, the furniture line “fits open office environments and can transition into private offices with lounge furniture,” says JSI.

Radius angles of 120 degrees give visual appeal to BeSPACE’s seating and casework components, made from bent/moulded plywood, upholstery and metal.

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About the Author

Karen M. Koenig

Karen M. Koenig has more than 25 years of experience in the woodworking industry, including visits to wood products manufacturing facilities throughout North America, Europe and Asia. As Editor-in-Chief of Woodworking Network magazine (formerly Wood & Wood Products), Karen’s primary responsibilities include spearheading the writing, editing and coordinating of the editorial content of the publication, along with the Red Book resource guide and the Red Book online source and supply directory ( She is also a frequent contributor to other Woodworking Network online and print media. She can be reached at or Google+.

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Charlie Fisher    
Cardiff  |  July, 14, 2014 at 04:53 AM

Great article. I think in reality everyone needs their quiet space at some point in work, and I think there's a middle ground that can be accomplished. If the space is designed for purpose then it should reflect the way that people use it. There are many office's that are beginning to bring in noise dampening pods which are said to be surprisingly effective. There are some interesting stats and other options to sound proof and dampen office noise in offices here...


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