making the most of your meeting rooms

We spend a huge amount of our workday in meetings and therefore meeting rooms. That’s why designing meeting rooms that fulfil employees’ needs is a critical part of a successful office refurbishment project. A well designed meeting room can also help with attracting new clients or employees to your business. Therefore it’s imperative that your office has a meeting area that’s comfortable, stylish and fully equipped to help you communicate better amongst your staff and ultimately help build relationships.

In this blog we share the key steps to consider for designing creative and productive meeting rooms and our ideas for how you can make the most. of your meeting room spaces.

the importance of the meeting room 

A meeting room gets used for a variety of tasks and is often seen by clients as well as staff. What you need from your ideal meeting room will be determined by how you operate as a business, how much space you have available and what you use the meeting space for on a day-to-day basis.

Meeting rooms can be formal or informal. They can be high profile boardrooms or small interview rooms. They can be enclosed private rooms or open collaborative spaces. The meeting room is a core piece of the meeting experience.

understanding employees needs

The key to designing meeting rooms is to understand your team’s needs. From collaborative brainstorming sessions with a single team to large strategy meetings with external clients, every type of meeting requires a different type of space. Some key questions to answer here are:

  • What will the room be used for? Do you need a full size boardroom or smaller collaborative spaces?
  • Is this room meant for meeting with clients? Or is it for internal use only?
  • Does this room need to be within easy access from employees? Or does it need to be located for additional privacy?

Thinking about the use of the space allows you to begin tailoring your meeting rooms to the way that your organisation works.

room layout and equipment

Once you understand how the room will be used you can identify the key requirements for space and equipment. For example, if the purpose of the room is to allow for presentations, then a room that meets certain technical requirements is needed. Will people need to move the chairs around and swivel to look at a screen? If so, a requirement might be chairs on casters that can swivel.

furniture

As for tables and surfaces, consider not just size, but usage. Would people be primarily standing or sitting in their meetings? If they use the room for standing meetings, you might require a standing or height-adjustable table. Alternatively, if the room is meant for creative work, you might want to provide alternative seating that encourages more freedom. Do the tables need to be moved?

The meeting room table has evolved over the years, but one thing has remained consistent, it's the centrepiece of your meeting room. For a boardroom, you may want yours to make a grand statement about you and your company, or you may prefer something contemporary and simple. You will need to consider many chairs you will need, and choose the right chair to ensure comfortable seating.

Additionally, think about power and power access. Do you need power access through the table for other equipment? What about charging outlets for attendees with mobile devices – this could include USB charging ports or wireless charging.

technology

Audiovisual equipment is now key to the meeting experience. Again, consider how that technology will be used in each room. Not every room requires a screen or a communications device, and rooms should be appropriately fitted based on their purpose. Some rooms might benefit from a traditional whiteboard and marker, while others might require advanced teleconferencing tools such as high quality cameras and microphones. Do you need screens, projectors, or video capabilities? Not every room needs every device, so fit out your meeting rooms strategically.

lighting

Lighting is crucial to the meeting room experience. Excessively soft lighting might result in participants feeling sleepy. On the other hand, harsh lighting might not be conducive for reading and viewing of screens. Large boardrooms might require more brightness, and rooms with projectors might require dimming lights.

Choosing the right lighting is also heavily dependent on the location of the room. If the room has a lot of natural light, you might have to look at reducing lighting with blinds. For rooms without windows, light must be a primary consideration in room design.

sound

Meeting rooms that are designed without consideration for sound often result in unwanted side effects. This could include echoing and reverberation, scraping from moving furniture, or feedback between microphones and speakers.

Acoustic controls are now available in a variety of designs that add to the feel of a meeting room, rather than take away from it. Wall mounted acoustical panels are effective at keeping sound in, as are ceiling mounted baffles.

colour scheme

When selecting colours for your reception area, create a warm, inviting area that reflects your brand. Using official company colours is a classic way to match the meeting rooms and echo the company brand experience. If your branding colours are too overwhelming or have negative emotional connotations when used in larger spaces, consider using them as accents on a more neutral palate.

agile meeting rooms

Not every business has the luxury of space. Many offices cannot accommodate both a boardroom and separate meeting rooms and conference rooms; space has to be used wisely. This is why increasing meeting room designs are required to create a flexible and multi-functional space that can support a variety of functions.

To create an environment that is effective for everyone, you can go beyond rigid cellular meeting rooms. Moving towards spaces with no singular use that can be utilised for an impromptu meeting, a whole company gathering, a setting to socialise, eat, collaborate, brainstorm and so on. The flexibility of these spaces is where there value lies. Find out more about agile working and meeting room environments.

how Most Interiors can help

If you are looking to upgrade your meeting rooms, we can help. We design and build inspirational workspaces that provide the setting to give people flexibility and to encourage creativity and productivity.

If you are interested in any of our suggestions we would be happy to hear from you to give you more information, so please feel free to contact us.

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