How many meetings have you been to in your career so far? We bet you can’t count. While there’s a lot of advice and tips out there on running a great meeting that gets the outcome you desire, there’s not a whole lot on perfecting the room itself. So we’ve done it for you and asked the question, what makes a good meeting room? Here’s the answer.
What is the room’s purpose?
Ok, we’ve already mentioned the phrase ‘meeting room’, but what kind of meetings are going to be taking place in here? Is it formal gatherings with clients, or somewhere employees can come to be creative and brainstorm ideas? To create the perfect room, you first need to understand the needs of its users.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
- Will you need a full size boardroom or smaller creative spaces?
- Will it be used by large groups or small teams?
- Does it need to be client-facing or is it solely for internal use?
- Does it need more privacy than usual or should it be easily accessible?
Once you start to have a better idea of how the space will be used, you can start to tailor it accordingly.
The right equipment
Now it’s time to equip your room with the right stuff. You now know what the room is going to be used for, so you can now embark on the office interior design stage with more care and precision.
Let’s start with sound as it’s often an area that doesn’t get enough attention, which results in unwanted noises such as tech feedback, noise from other areas of the office, reverb or echoes, none of which are helpful when it comes to being productive. Dealing with an office full of unwanted noise can be a real nuisance.
Thankfully you can get acoustic panels, both wall and ceiling-mounted, that not only help control the sound and reduce reverberations, but that are also designed to fit in perfectly with modern office décor.
Another element that is often overlooked, lighting is essential to the entire office, and a meeting room is no exception. It’s a fine balance to strike, lighting that is too soft might cause people to feel tired and sleepy, whereas lighting that is too bright and harsh can cause eye strain especially when coupled with using screens.
Again, it’s important to think about the room’s overall purpose. Will it be a boardroom? If so, more brightness may be needed. For a comfortable and cosy space, consider softer lighting. The option of dimmable lights is perfect for rooms where projectors are used.
Always try and get as much natural light into the room as possible, although we appreciate that this isn’t always a viable option! If not, consider the types of bulbs you use and avoid harsh white lights. Read our tips for better office lighting for a little more help.
Don’t just pick any old table and chairs for the room, again let’s think about how people will be using the room. Do people prefer to have their meetings standing? Consider sit-stand desks if so. If big and important meetings will be held here then you’re going to need a large boardroom table that can fit everyone around it but also not make the room feel too small. Should you have small tables for one-to-one chats or a larger one where teams can huddle round?
Will you need whiteboards? Storage and filing cabinets? Will your staff need to swivel on chairs or are stationary ones suitable? Will people be using laptops in this room and therefore need power outlets?
Think about any projectors and screens that will need to be installed, and where is best for them to be positioned. If the room is going to be used for telecommuting and long-distance meetings, consider installing some high quality audio visual gear such as cameras and microphones that will ensure conversations aren’t dropped or interrupted. Also, make sure your internet reaches this room, otherwise no work will be able to get done!
Meeting rooms, conference rooms and board rooms might be where hard work and grafting gets done, but that doesn’t mean they need to be bland and boring. Colours can drastically change the look, feel and vibe of a room, so be sure to give it a lot of thought. The productivity of your staff can also be impacted heavily by your chosen office colours. Don’t worry, we’ve done the hard work for you and collated everything you need to know about office colour psychology into one handy guide.
Don’t forget things like artwork and other finishing touches. This could be anything from framed prints and photographs, or even vinyl lettering to spell out quotes or your business’ core values.
No matter what industry or type of company you work in, meetings are a massive part of your working life. Having a well-planned out meeting room can help make the discussions that happen in there more effective and productive, all you need is the right equipment and surrounding environment to enhance the process.
Need help coming up with an amazing meeting room space that fits your culture and won’t break the bank? Diamond Interiors can help, so get in touch today!