Office Planning in 2023

As the modern workforce evolves, so too must the spaces they occupy. This is the philosophy that drives Toni Piskac, Interior Architect and Workplace Consultant at tnpx, a Berlin and Leipzig-based studio for office consultancy and interior design. With his extensive experience, including a recent project redesigning Fritz Hansen Headquarters, Piskac spoke with Fritz Hansen to share insights into the critical aspects of successful office planning in 2023. "Good office design can create the right framework for [success]. But of course, the design is essential. The office should support healthy work, enable interaction and offer inspiration."


Successful office planning is about more than just designing the physical rooms. In Piskac’s experience, it is about fundamentally questioning the current way of working and understanding the organisation's specific requirements. This includes work processes, workflow, communication, and even cultural questions such as the company's values and identity. Today, work is no longer a place only but a fundamental mindset.
Emphasising the importance of a holistic planning process that involves management and employees, Piskac says, “Holistic cooperation creates a common vision of the future working world and increases acceptance of the future office landscape.”

The modern office is no longer just a collection of rooms with workstations and meeting rooms. Instead, it should be thought of as a landscape of possibilities that can withstand constant change. Ideally, there are zones for common, social aspects where informal exchanges occur across teams or even company boundaries. Other room formats focus on interaction, with flexible rooms for agile workshop formats, project rooms, or hybrid workspaces. Finally, there need to be spaces for concentrated work for teams and individuals. Addressing a common request, Piskac says, “You don’t need more meeting rooms; you need more opportunities to interact.”

Stressing the importance of balancing focused and interactive work and creating the right offerings, for Piskac this includes room structures for the alternation of open and closed offices, the right acoustics, lighting, colours, materials, and furnishings. “Furniture is the connecting point between space and people and where companies can express the value they give to their employees.”


The main function of the office is to bring people together. For this to work in the post-Covid world, there needs to be an invitation that goes beyond providing the basics of space and equipment. It means tapping into the human aspects of office life – interaction and emotion.

Companies looking to attract people back and create a thriving workspace must look towards aligning the brand identity with the employees’ connection to it throughout the office space. An excellent example of this can be seen at DFDS, who were recently awarded the DGNB Gold and named Office Building of the Year, as they successfully showcased the company’s brand story within its new design.

Aligning employees and brand is the starting point for successful office design. An office that successfully reflects the brand and provides opportunities for interpersonal cooperation is a fertile space for creativity. A recent survey by Microsoft revealed that connecting with colleagues is a core motivation for in-person working, with 84% of employees surveyed motivated by the promise of socialising, while 85% stated they would be motivated by rebuilding team bonds. [Report: Hybrid Work is Just Work: Are We Doing It Wrong?]

The pandemic years sharpened the requirements for a company office as well as highlighted the benefits of digital collaboration and remote work. To attract people back, the new office needs to offer value beyond what the home office can provide, such as communication, interaction, social exchange, meaning, values, and belonging.

Survey by Microsoft

Part of creating a sense of belonging in a workplace comes down to the functional pieces of furniture that impact – psychologically and physically – how people interact and react to space and people. Marie-Louise Høstbo, Creative Design Director at Fritz Hansen looks to the Egg chair and the specific design’s psychological effect: “The Egg chair was created for an open lounge area by Arne Jacobsen. With the chair Jacobsen created a private space within a large space. From the chair you could overlook the lounge area and still feel intimate and caressed by the design of the chair.” As furniture is, in the truest sense of the word, the point of contact between space and people, then there are two essential factors to consider: Quality and Interaction. The quality inherent in office furniture reflects the value that the company places in employees. Secondly, the interaction that any particular furniture encourages or dissuades is an all-important consideration at the office design phase if a workplace setting is to fulfill a desired purpose. As companies are realising the impact of good office design, Høstbo confirms the shift in mindset is felt at the manufacturing level: “Currently we’re experiencing an interest in bringing shapes and tactility into commercial spaces, and here the Fritz Hansen collections are of contemporary relevance.” She continues, “The commercial collection at Fritz Hansen is and must continue to be functional, flexible and extraordinary. The distinct shapes of several pieces in the collection stand out in larger public spaces.”


The impact of good office planning can be significant for companies. It can create the right framework for healthy work, enable interaction, and offer inspiration. Good office design can also contribute to a company's success by helping it react to the challenges of the time, develop permanently, and ensure its continued existence.

Fritz Hansen’s Creative Experience Director, Christian Andresen has been working closely with Toni Piskac for the redesign of the Fritz Hansen Headquarters. For Andreasen, “it’s been a goal for us to create some more social spaces and connecting spaces in our environment here.” In conversation with Piskac, Andresen explains how office planning can also be used to attract new talent. “Modern-day workers have certain expectations for an office experience,” he says.

“They want a workspace that is not only functional but also inspiring and enjoyable. They want a space that supports their well-being and enables them to do their best work.”


Design and manufacturing for commercial use is written into the DNA of Fritz Hansen. Marie-Louise Høstbo points to the origins of many of Fritz Hansen’s most iconic pieces, not least the Egg™ chair designed in collaboration with Arne Jacobsen for the SAS Royal Hotel in 1958 which has transitioned from commercial product to sought-after lounge chair for the home.

“Design from the Fritz Hansen was originally intended for commercial spaces, with the most famous examples being Arne Jacobsen’s highly functional stacking chairs (Ant™, Series 7™, Grand Prix™) and his Swan™, Egg™ and Pot™ lounge chairs, later used in residential spaces.”

As a sign of the shifting currents towards elevating the workspace, Høstbo continues, “Currently we’re experiencing an interest in bringing shapes and tactility into commercial spaces and here the Fritz Hansen collection is of contemporary relevance. Our commercial pieces, then and now, combine functionality and flexibility with extraordinary design: the distinct shapes of several pieces in the collection are known for standing out in larger public spaces.”


The modern office is a landscape of possibilities that can withstand constant change and offers something beyond what a home office can provide. Successful office planning in 2023 requires a holistic process involving management and employees and understanding the organisation's specific requirements. It creates the right framework for healthy work, enables interaction, and offers inspiration, which in turn can attract top talent and contribute to a company's success.