After the first two years of the TechoCon conference with flexibility and coworking as their topics, this year’s topic will be Well-being and Sustainability. We asked Milan Začal, TechoCon’s co-founder and the sales manager at TECHO, about the details of this September 2019 event supported by #MORETHANOFFICE.
Why this precise pair of topics—Well-being & Sustainability?
Topic-wise, the offices of the future are TechoCon’s main pillar. We respond to innovations and trends that touch closely upon commercial interiors and life within them.
We dedicated our first year to innovations, technological gadgets that make work easier and higher-quality, and making use of work environments. We focused our second year on community and socialization in work environments, i.e. on coworking.
And this year we’ll be covering what’s most important: individuals and their personal comfort, needs, perceptions, and relationships with their environs.
How do you explain the fact that humans are only just now entering the center of interest for developers, architects, and designers?
They were always at the center. Humans always were and are the measure of everything. The question really should be, why have we waited until now to focus on people and their comfort to such a degree?
And how would you answer that question?
To some extent it’s due to humanity’s development; a new generation is coming with a different view of life and lifestyles, one that is more aware of the results of its actions and environmental impacts. They live healthy, play sports, travel, and want to enjoy everything that existence brings them. And work environments must respond to these needs.
If the focus is now on people and their comfort, where was it before?
In a nutshell you could say that before (a few decades back), employees were viewed more as a working tool than as an element for development and innovation. Today it’s precisely the opposite. Machines and automation will replace, and are already replacing, routine work activities, and meanwhile people are doing more sophisticated work. And if we’re to ask who’s going be the most productive and innovative? It’s certain that it won’t be people who are physically and mentally overloaded.
How would you define well-being in a single sentence?
A subjectively and objectively well-lived and full life in all respects, for example good and well-developed social relationships, a feeling of safety and financial security, being physically and mentally fit, but above all, having a meaning for the things you do.
So does that mean that designer offices are actually unimportant and that other factors such as work-life balance, meaningfulness for work, and a good team mood are determinative?
Naturally all of this has to be in balance and go hand-in-hand. People are enormously complicated beings, and you can’t work with them through shortcuts. Employees deserve comprehensive care. Even in the past it was that way, albeit a bit more trial-and-error. Now, today, we know what people in offices want and need via hard data. We know what’s important and what isn’t—office environments must be approached comprehensively.
What novelties do you have waiting for visitors to TechoCon 2019?
Besides the main speakers, the panel discussions, the workshops, and the stands of our Premium partners, this year we’re newly presenting the Creative Stage, with presentations by architects and people directly connected with practice and the designing of office spaces. In a short format of 20 pictures for 20 seconds, they’ll present their specific solutions in office buildings and interiors for selected implemented projects.
Can you reveal what speakers people can look forward to?
TechoCon is a platform with global reach; global speakers from a variety of fields will speak here, out of which I can name Leon Jakimič – the founder of LASVIT and a visionary, nicknamed the king of Czech glass, and also Michiel Hofman – the top of the top in European architecture, the skyscraper architect Eva Le Peutrec, and others. But enough. Let yourself be surprised at the conference.