April 11, 2024

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How to Create Meeting Rooms that Work

Whether for work or pleasure meeting rooms provide spaces where things happen. Decisions are taken, ideas are generated and energy flows. Despite advances in digital technology and online virtual meetings the real-world physical encounter is unequalled.

Good working practices depend on innovation and collaboration which explains why meetings are so important. The design of meeting rooms can make a positive contribution to their productivity. Nowadays we understand that the choice of layout, equipment and furniture affects meeting outcomes. Most office workers would agree that efficiency, comfort and reliable technology create the optimum conditions for meetings.

There are several different types of meeting rooms, from break-out areas equipped with a coffee table and sofas to board rooms. These spaces are not necessarily even in offices anymore, the hotel meeting room is becoming ever more popular. Through this article we will describe how to locate, design and equip your meeting rooms to get the optimum results. No matter where the meeting room is located.

Meeting room with natural wood floor by Porcelanosa

Skins Empyreal Woven Sapphire 70×1000 cm

Wald 1L Custom Supreme Osning 30×350 cm

Different Types of Meeting Rooms

With the era of hybrid working creating attractive and functional meeting rooms takes on more importance than ever. Nowadays workers are going into the office to accomplish specific tasks. Good design fosters a sense of productive collaboration. Every decision from where the meeting room is located to the choice of furniture impacts on its correct functioning. Meeting room layout should aid participation and help break down boundaries. Modern meeting rooms will also have facilities to accommodate virtual participants. The following list explains the most common types of meeting rooms found in offices nowadays.

  • Phone booth: A soundproof booth that is equipped with internet or phone connection for single occupancy. For virtual or phone meetings within the office environment.
  • Break out areas: where small informal meetings take place, which can be as basic as a sofa and chairs around a coffee table.
  • Small Meeting Room: A separate room where small gatherings of between 2 and 8 individuals can comfortably sit down around a table. Suitable for private 1:1 meetings and team building.
  • Board Rooms: Or conference room meeting rooms where larger groups can be accommodated for more formal work-related activities. Client presentations, departmental get-togethers or board meetings. Typically, they are designed for 20 or more seated individuals around a table.

 

Location of Meeting Rooms

The ideal location for a meeting room depends on the type of meeting being accommodated. Small meeting rooms for team building sessions are better suited to high visibility areas, such as corridors, near internal circulation. While conference rooms should be more private and most importantly have natural daylight.

How these spaces are separated off from the office depends on the type of meeting room. In situations where acoustics are not an issue a sliding door or panel arrangement might work best. Sliding doors equate to openness and flexibility. However, a conference room will require fully closing soundproof doors with acoustic insulation.

 

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Credits: @eva_atelier

Meeting Room Design Criteria

Starting with the basics, the following considerations provide an overview to designing meeting rooms. Some of the following criteria will require the input of specialists to determine thermal, acoustic and lighting conditions. Depending on the purposes of the different meetings, some or all of the following will be critical to the design.

#01     Acoustics: The most important feature of meeting rooms design is sound. You don’t want to be overheard in an adjacent room and you don’t want the sound to reverberate within the space. Neither do you want to be distracted by external noises.

#02      Meeting Rooms Layout: Typically, a rectangular or circular table is the focus of small meeting rooms. While the board room or conference room is better suited to a flexible layout where the tables can be arranged in a U configuration or joined into a single linear arrangement.

#03      Comfort: Air quality (and temperature) has a surprisingly significant influence on concentration levels and overall wellness. Clean air and filtration systems can be calibrated differently for specific rooms. Meeting rooms where people huddle together require more powerful HVAC systems.

#04      Natural & Artificial Light: Larger meeting rooms should have access to natural light. The views and ventilation provided by openable windows is invaluable. Nevertheless, all meeting rooms will require artificial lighting which should incorporate feature lighting. Do not rely on the standard suspended ceiling lighting systems alone.

#05      Technology: The importance of connectivity in the contemporary meeting room is beyond question. The audio-visual technology needs to be designed into the space, rather than added as an afterthought. Monitors, speakers and microphones should be positioned symmetrically in a room to provide equal coverage and visibility. Similarly, sockets and laptop connections should be abundant but hidden when not in use.

 

Styling Modern Meeting Rooms

The design of modern meeting rooms reflects our evolving attitudes to work. We want the space to reflect warmth and productivity, functionality and purpose. The selected finishes, furniture and decoration make a statement about the people who use the meeting room and the company they work for. That might be minimalist and sober or more whimsical and creative, whatever the preferred style it makes an impression on the people passing through.

 

Meeting room wood effect wall by Porcelanosa

Arrow 3D Arce 59.6×150 cm

Meeting Room Finishes

Above all else meeting rooms must be flexible, as they are typically in high demand during the day and have a high turnover of use. Floor and wall finishes must be robust, easy to maintain and provide the adequate acoustic properties. The most appropriate floor finishes include:

  • Floor tiles: The clean lines and easy maintenance of porcelain tiles make a good impression and are easy to maintain.
  • Timber floorboards: Nothing creates a warm ambience in the way that natural timber does. It has the added advantage of absorbing sound making it ideal for meeting rooms.
  • Vinyl: Nowadays LVP (luxury vinyl planks) is indistinguishable from natural timber but has the added advantage of easier upkeep.
  • Carpet: For meeting room acoustics nothing beats carpet, but it can be a nightmare to keep clean.
  • Laminate: There is a myriad of choices in laminate flooring which is extremely durable, resistant to foot traffic and scratches. It’s an affordable and visually impressive option.

 

Meeting room with wooden floor by Porcelanosa

Genova 1L Chrome 218×14.5 cm

Mojave Polished BPT 30×60 cm

Treasures Mist Shannan Strip 29.2×30.4 cm

Furnishing Meeting Rooms

The focal point of any meeting room is the meeting room table. It, together with meeting room chairs are the architecture of the space. There are any number of board room table materials to choose from which will ‘set the mood’ for the space. An investment in quality meeting room furniture will say a lot about your company. Matching ergonomic chairs are recommended to match are highly recommended. Not just for their comfort but their looks. The following options are the most popular:

  • Timber: A solid timber table can be modern or traditional, wood nevertheless always equals gravity and reliability.
  • Glass: Transparency and light are expressed through glass furniture. The glass meeting room table equals modern and confident.
  • Solid Surface: The newcomer to the block, materials and Krion and reconstituted stone embrace change and evolving technologies.

Next in the pecking order is the credenza or storage unit. Choose a material that can complement the meeting room table. Matching ergonomic chairs are highly recommended. Everything in the meeting room should look like it belongs.

 

Small meeting room with mosaic wall by Porcelanosa

Aqua Green 26.2×29 cm

Tortona 1L Walnut 120×14.5 cm

Meeting Room Ideas

With just a little extra imagination the meeting room can become an ambassador for the company or individual. The flow of conversation and ideas can be aided by design. There is no excuse nowadays for boring rooms with bad air and even worse lighting. The following ideas can push the boundaries of the meeting room into more productive and creative directions. 

#01      Feature Walls: Forget the cliché artworks on meeting room walls. Instead convert an entire wall into a feature wall with gorgeous wall tiles, beautiful mosaics or decorative wallpaper. These visual features inspire the subconscious and look great as well.

#02      Greening the Meeting Rooms: Add lots of potted plants and greenery. Not only will the vegetation improve the air quality, but it can also provide a Zen atmosphere which is important in any meeting room.

#03      Coffee or Tea Station: Nothing calms the tension and creates a sense of conviviality like a good old-fashioned cup of tea (or coffee). Keep the station in a cupboard or hidden from view to avoid visual clutter.

 

First Steps to Designing Meeting Rooms

With so much at stake in the contemporary work environment it makes sense to invest in meeting rooms. We have explored how their design can influence meeting outcomes. So, we encourage you to explore the Porcelanosa web before making an appointment at your nearest showroom to find the solutions that work best for you. In the meantime, if you have any questions regarding the above, please feel free to contact us.

 

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