01/16/2024 • 3 min read

What Is Ancillary?

Elevating Workplace Dynamics with Ancillary Furniture

by Haworth, Inc.

In office design, "ancillary" can refer to both spaces and products. Ancillary spaces, made up of versatile residential-feeling furniture, are essential for shaping an organization's culture and supporting people's needs for collaboration. These dynamic areas, designed for flexibility and social interaction, elevate the office experience, and improve the overall well-being of employees. Lounge, café, and outdoor are just a few types of spaces that can foster collaboration and improve productivity in today's workplace.

Unlocking the Power of Ancillary Spaces   

People are social by nature, which is why incorporating opportunities for spontaneous interactions in work environments is important. At Haworth, we believe the best collaboration occurs when people are together, in person. The flexibility of ancillary spaces and products is fundamental for collaboration and engagement as floorplates shift to accommodate emerging needs in individual and group spaces. Successful organizations understand this recipe leads to creativity and innovation.

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Discover Haworth's latest inspirational stories, brand additions, and products by world renowned designers. Explore our curated portfolio of ancillary products—everything you need for adaptable, inspiring spaces that support the ways people work.

The Role of Ancillary Furniture   

When given the choice, people are drawn to places that make them feel comfortable and productive. Many employees today express that they can fulfill most of their work responsibilities at home without entering a physical workplace. At the same time, organizations often struggle to explain the value of coming together with coworkers in well-designed spaces. Therefore, the “office” is increasingly becoming a place of social context—more collaborative than ever and a place to bond. Because of this, the characteristics of an office are evolving.  

Spaces have been redesigned to better fit organizational cultures. Company leaders are emphasizing community and using ancillary spaces to support interactions while people are in the office. Providing ancillary furnishings allows employees to choose the environment that’s best suited for their tasks while feeling supported and comfortable. It’s about bringing the comforts of home into the workplace.

Crafting Creative Workspaces   

Space design that encourages creativity balances focus work, rest, and the in-between times when ideas form. For creativity and innovation to flourish, employers should protect employees’ ability to focus and encourage restorative behaviors in the workplace. As Tony Schwartz, President and CEO of The Energy Project, and author of Be Excellent at Anything, puts it, “Renewal is not for slackers. Renewal is a way in which to increase your capacity to be more effective.” Connection and interaction are enriched in comfortable, inviting spaces that do so much more than provide chairs for sitting and surfaces for typing. They give people options—from lounge areas to cafés that facilitate movement and offer inspiration—indoors or out.

It’s all about amenities—what makes people happy, how we keep people comfortable. The office of the future has to be conducive to working, it has to be functional, but it also has to bring out the feeling of ‘I’m so glad I’m here and able to talk to everyone.

Lauren Rottet Architect & Designer

Haworth’s Design-Forward Approach

Through our ancillary product portfolio, Haworth delivers options to create the spaces people need to connect and engage. Our multiple brands offer unique combinations of design, innovation, and craftsmanship, while our partner relationships help expand our knowledge and competency relating to every environment. This is how with bring expertise and craft to our customers, no matter where they're located. We help create spaces where people thrive.

Ancillary spaces offer flexibility for group focus and restorative activities. They put us at ease, encourage conversation, and elevate the office experience. They help us stay engaged and nurture well-being. Ancillary spaces are adaptable, inspiring places to gather, connect, and restore, supporting the growing need for collaborative activities and emerging workstyles.

More on Ancillary Spaces

Find out more about the designs and products that can help you create inspiring spaces to support culture and collaboration.


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