When you take into consideration how much of our workdays are spent in meetings, it’s surprising how underutilised and overlooked the rooms themselves are. Some people actually spend as much or even more time in meeting rooms than their own desks! So it’s actually very important to ensure that these places are made as comfortable and work-friendly as possible.
There is a lot of focus on how to hold an effective meeting, but not so much on how to improve the room itself; surprising as it is central to the meeting experience.
Well-designed and high-quality meeting rooms are welcoming, comfortable and support creativity. Getting the meeting room right can improve meeting productivity and effectiveness.
Meeting room purpose
Before designing a meeting room you need to understand its purpose and your team’s needs. If you have multiple rooms to choose from, decide on its size and location first. Consider:
- What is the purpose of the room? Does it need to be small and cosy to encourage collaboration, or does it need to be spacious for boardroom meetings?
- Do you teams work in small groups or large teams?
- Will clients be using the rooms or is it just for internal use?
Consider these points, amongst others, when designing meeting rooms for your organization.
When designing the room, essential equipment needs to be assessed. Consider these:
Not every room will need screens or communication devices but consider implementing a room scheduler in order to book meeting rooms easily. These are available in applications, and a great example is Pronestor Room, which allows you to book rooms and organize meetings from your phone or desktop very simply. Seeing as meeting rooms are usually in very high demand, scheduling software such as these can increase workplace harmony.
Many modern offices are set up for teleconferencing, so they have audio-visual equipment built in, such as high quality cameras, microphones and projectors/screens.
There are countless considerations to take into account when identifying what should be used to furnish the room. The budget is a major concern as you must be able to work within your means. Will people be sitting down at a table for most of the meeting, or will they be constantly standing up and moving around, meaning that super comfortable seats are not a priority?
The lighting can really make a difference to the meeting room experience. Lighting that is too soft can make people sleepy, whilst bright lights can cause headaches and make it hard to read off screens.
Depending on the purpose of the meeting room, the lights must match the purpose. Boardrooms with a lot of natural light may require some blinds that still keep the room bright, whereas comfortable rooms would require softer light.
Other things to consider are the colour schemes— using the company colours, and materials used— comfortable, clean materials.
Whatever you choose, ensure that it is carefully thought through, and thought of as an investment for the company.