Conference Room Design Do's and Don'ts
PTIOF of Bergen County shares an article on conference room design tips
Good use of your conference room space can help your employees be more productive and creative when working in teams. Your conference room needs to utilize good design, comfortable office furniture, and the proper equipment for your employees to feel comfortable and to enhance teamwork. Consider the following do’s and don’ts when creating your office’s conference space.
Do: Invest in Standard Equipment
Your employees not only need a space in which to collaborate, but the right equipment as well. According to DataProjections.com, “A conference room is where the company’s operations are formulated, where important decisions are made and progress is analyzed. It is, in short, the nerve center of the office, so it needs to be as functional as possible.” The right technology can make all the difference in productivity and efficiency.
• Whiteboard: Posted on the main wall, a whiteboard can help team members discuss ideas and plan projects quickly and easily. Boardroom and meeting room tools are essential to create a fully functional work space. From the simplest to the most technical, these tools will help your employees to collaborate, review, assess, and brainstorm effectively.
• Food/beverage area: If you’re conducting longer meetings, especially those that last through lunch, you want to be sure your employees are able to fuel their creative ideas.
Don’t: Fall Short on Design
Your conference space needs to look and feel comfortable for those using it. Keep the room clean, tie up loose cords, and provide up-to-date equipment so that your employees can use the room when they need it.
• Experts at LightCorp, among others, all agree that light increases creativity, work quality, and overall morale, so provide windows if possible. Avoid fluorescent lights, which work against creativity and can cause headaches in some people.
• Wall colors should be calming. Don’t use bright, intrusive, or clashing colors on the walls, furniture, or décor. Yellow and blue are ideal as they increase people’s likelihood of being agreeable and calm.
Do: Minimize Distractions
Your conference room design should be comfortable and free of distractions. Distractions can decrease productivity and damage teamwork.
• Fix wobbly tables, flickering lights, off-center ceiling fans, and noisy air vents, all of which can distract people from the task at hand.
Make sure that you have enough chairs, if not enough table space, for everyone in the group. You want everyone to be comfortable so that they worry about their work, not their surroundings.
Don’t: Crowd the Room
As part of your conference room design, you should inspire an atmosphere of equality and collaboration. In order for everyone to share thoughts, it’s important to avoid furniture that might put someone at the head of the group or excessive talkers in the way of those who may be a bit more quiet.
• Consider utilizing a round table, which can help everyone in the room connect to one another and share ideas.
• Don’t use any sort of tiered seating; be sure all seating options are on the same level and can easily view all areas of the room so no one is left out or hiding.
• Be sure there is plenty of seating space. SmallBusiness.Chron.com suggests, “In designing your conference room, make sure there is ample room for attendees to get up and move around. There may be times when it is advantageous to break up into smaller conversational groups during the meeting.”
The design of your conference room will make all the difference in how your employees utilize it. Insufficient space, equipment, or furniture will make group members uncomfortable and less likely to engage in teamwork. Providing an open, distraction-free space will give your employees the means to be more creative and more productive.
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