The Conference Room is one of the most important sections of a well-designed office. It’s a versatile space that allows managers and executives to gather and make key decisions, as well as an area for teams to brainstorm ideas. It can also be used for the practice of hiring new employees, or welcoming clients to have a sit-down and discuss projects.
In short, the Conference Room doesn’t look like it’s going away any time soon, and that’s a good thing. Setting up the perfect Conference Room however, is another matter. A little forethought goes a long way in order to take advantage of available space, to create the most functional and optimal environment possible. Here’s a few options.
THE U-SHAPE LAYOUT
The traditional U-shape Conference Room consists of conference tables set up in a U shape, with chairs placed around the exterior. This layout can open up the space of a particular interior without making it feel too cramped. It’s ideal for Conference Rooms hosting a lot of presentations, as the open space gives ample room for a host or presenter to do their work, while all eyes remain on them. This is ideal for focus groups, office training seminars or feature presentations.
THE BOARDROOM LAYOUT
This is perhaps the most common and recognizable Conference Room layout, and the one most people remember from their personal work history. The Boardroom layout consists of a single table, usually rectangular, with chairs around all four sides. The idea is for everyone on the team to face each other, rather than look outwards. This is most handy for collaborative projects, focus groups, and of course, the traditional board or committee meeting. It’s an inclusive layout that encourages group member participation at all times.
THE HOLLOW SQUARE LAYOUT
Similar to the U-shape layout, the Hollow Square layout consists of a large square or rectangular table with an empty middle section, and chairs arranged on all four sides. It also includes particular facets of the Boardroom layout, notably the inward-facing team members who are encouraged to engage with one another. This layout also avoids preferential seating, sans a group leader at the head of the table to coordinate and provide oversight.
This back-to-school approach literally lifts the classroom desking system and applies it to the Conference Room environment. It consists of small tables or desks arranged in a classroom-style layout, with focus on the speaker at the head of the class. Naturally, this benefits teams engaged in study or training sessions. This layout allows members to take notes, work on laptops and remain fully fixated on whoever is in charge of the seminar.
Naturally, any of these particular Conference Room layouts will need to be set up appropriately. This includes integrating essential technologies for those working on laptops or other tech devices. Oftentimes, a Conference Room will include a large television or projector screen for the sake of presentations, which means this fixture will need to be accounted for. It may be necessary to install a WiFi extender in order to guarantee a strong signal for everyone in the room.
Second, it’s important that the Conference Room be neat, tidy, and free of distractions. Messy workspaces are frustrating, and can hamper the ability of team members to concentrate during key sessions. Cable management should be taken into account, as well as the tidying up of superfluous documents, desk items and other things that have no place being seen. When all is said and done, it’s wise to do a final check to make sure that there are no wobbly tables or chairs, that the air conditioning is properly balanced, etc. You never know who might pop in for a visit, which means the Conference Room should always be ready to host.
For more information on how Sensyst approaches the design and layout of an excellent Conference Room, contact us today.