10 Key Considerations When Designing A Meeting Room
The conventional office features open space planning and for larger enterprises composes of separate offices, each serving different departments. With these office structures having a standard and dedicated room for collaboration is essential.
As an integral part of every business, design a meeting room with three principal characteristics namely, it has ample space, and it is well equipped and conducive for collaboration and learning.
Importance of a Meeting Room:
• A Place for Learning and Teamwork Activities
• Secure and Private Area for Managerial Discussions
• A Professional Room to Accommodate Potential Partners and Clients
• Additional Space for Gatherings and Special Company Events
• Indicates that the Company is a Professional and Able Enterprise
When designing, you should remember that business teams primarily use a meeting room in line with the company’s vision and goals. The planning entails the inclusion of different design considerations.
We have put together ten key considerations when designing a meeting room. The list is a comprehensive and concise outline with detailed strategies on how to achieve each.
1. Modern Design that Represents the Company’s Vision and Goals:
Depending on the service a business provides, the meeting room accommodates and showcase the service it provides. For instance, a meeting room for a music production company may need audio and video equipment more advanced than the typical projector. An interior design firm, on the other hand, will require sizeable ample space for 30” x 40” plans to be spread out.
The design can adopt the color or logo of the company’s brand. Moreover, a meeting room can showcase plaques or past projects to instigate encouragement and inspiration for employees and clients as well.
2. A Meeting Room Strategically Designed for its Users
The type of people or occupants to use the meeting room is one of the more weighted considerations when designing a meeting room. Knowing the needs and functions of the people who will be using the meeting room should be a priority.
Identify if a meeting room is an informal collaboration area for employees, or will it be used primarily used only for executive meetings. For multipurpose meeting areas, for instance, midrange design furniture and adjustable dropdown blinds for the semi-private space is used. Meanwhile, top managerial meeting rooms may need to include executive chairs and is enclosed and more private space.
Know the demographics of your users and particular needs. Conduct a feasibility study or survey to know more about these specific needs.
3. Size, Capacity, and Layout
In a general sense, the higher the number of your employees, the larger the meeting room space you need. This relation holds, but should not neglect other considerations.
Typically, a meeting room has an average of 6 people, but larger meeting rooms can hold as much as 20 participants. There are many types of meeting room layouts, and the most common are conference the following:
i. Boardroom Style: Similar to a conference room, a boardroom uses a rectangular or an oval-shaped table at the center. As being placed around the table, the chairs are then laid out for participants are able to view a whiteboard or projector screen during presentations. Set on the far end of the table is the head or master seat, just opposite to the projection screen. Generally, it should accommodate 16 to 40 people.
ii. Hollow Square: It is also known as the “closed U” laid out with the tables shaped in a square or rectangular manner. The middle part allows the facilitator to move around the free space and can move along the surrounding attendees. This layout is suitable for conducting workshops or demo presentations. The hollow square can accommodate 17 to 40 people.
iii. Classroom Style: Similar to a typical school classroom, tables are laid out in rows and two columns facing the facilitator. This type of layout is appropriate for larger attendees.
iv. Banquet Style: The layout will have several tables that are usually round tables spread with 4 to 8 chair seating for each.
4. Ergonomically Designed Furniture
Consider purchasing seats that are suitable for conference use. Tables should be long enough to accommodate all attendees and is high enough for comfortable use.
Ergonomically designed furniture considers the proper posture and comfort of the user. For instance, the height of the meeting room table should be high enough not to cause muscle discomfort.
Ergonomic design is not only limited to furniture, but it can also apply to the relation of users to other surrounding objects. For instance, the height of the projector should not cause strain to viewers and must be adjusted to meet the comfortable viewing threshold.
5. Technologically Ready Layout and Design
Thanks to newly improved A/V equipment today, the quality of audio and video has become even better. Where smartphones could easily control and navigate other types of equipment. Hire audio and video experts to assess and install.
Allocated space for a projector or audio equipment should be assigned together with a storing area for securing equipment when not in use. The meeting room tables should also have tables that are wide enough for computers or laptops can be placed down. Provide ample wattage and convenience outlets to accommodate a large number of users.
6. Excellent Sound and Acoustic Performance
As a room for discussions and presentations, the room should be made by materials with excellent sound directing, buffering, absorption, and reverberate. Electronic reverberators can be strategically placed to enhance the audio quality from speakers.
Other than room technology, acoustic paneling can be installed in walls and ceilings, which help buffer sound in a meeting room. The shape and types of finishes in a meeting room can dramatically change the quality of the sound. Most meeting rooms are adjacent to other office areas. Good sound-absorptive materials can be installed to prevent sound escaping to other parts of the office.
7. Adjustable Heating and Ventilation System.
As recommended by WHO, the comfortable temperature for normal healthy adult workers is 18 °C or 64 °F. Consider the comfort level of participants and facilitators. Install adjustable or smart air conditioning systems since the use and number of users can be unpredictable.
A properly designed ventilation system is essential in keeping the air quality high. You may opt for a humidifier as well to prevent air dryness.
8. Proper and Sufficient Lighting
Whether for a small or large meeting room, good lighting design is needed for comfortable use of the area. Provide ample lighting that can be conveniently adjusted during any time of the day. Install window blinds or window screens that can be pulled down to prevent glare and unnecessary daylight from coming inside the room.
The layout or how the lights are spread and located around the room should be studied well as to provide equal comfortable lighting to all users. Select lighting fixtures suitable for a collaborative atmosphere, and that has the right color and warmth.
9. Flexibility and Future Use
Changes and upgrades in the business structure are unavoidable. Design a meeting room where it has a flexible layout that can adapt during various scenarios. For instance, a small meeting room can increase space by having wall panels to be easily removed to combine to an adjoining room.
Consider investing in quality modular furniture. Through the years, modular furniture has significantly improved from the flimsy designs. This adjustable furniture is great in accommodating different numbers and types of users.
10. Consider Energy Efficient Design
Meeting rooms will function for many years, and with this, it is wise to install energy-efficient systems to save on the cost of operations. LED lighting systems, for example, use less electricity and has a longer service life compared to conventional lighting.
Due to the number of considerations in designing a meeting room, many planners may have difficulty in striking a balance among these factors. The basic strategies are to have systematic planning and involvement of all key personnel in the company to come up with a reliable and efficient design.
In conclusion, a mindful planner must recognize that a meeting room in any enterprise, carries and promotes the business brand. Furthermore, an efficiently designed meeting room contributes significantly to the success of the company.
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