What Are Some Conference Room Design Mistakes?
Have you given thought to how your conference room works? What about what a visitor might think of it? Do you have enough power connections for groups? Are the amenities sufficient, or are there parts that are lacking? Having a well-designed conference room can make an enormous difference in how much work gets done, as well as the quality of that work. Here are several things to consider so that you don't make mistakes in your conference room.
Carelessly Mounted Screen
With technology today, it is virtually unheard of to have a conference room without a TV or monitor system of some kind. And when you are mounting that screen in the conference room, you need to keep in mind several things. First, are you mounting it so that everyone in the room can see the screen? It should be mounted high enough not to have to look through other heads to see the screen. Another factor is glare from any windows in the conference room. Either the screen should be mounted so that it doesn't receive any glare, or the windows need to have coverings to help prevent glare from sunlight. When you keep these in mind, your screen will be functional and appreciate by everyone using it.
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Outfitting a conference room is different than outfitting an office, and one of the ways it is different is the number of chairs needed for the conference room. This will be dictated by the room's size and the size of the table in the room. Likely you will have seating space for at least six people, and often several more. And while it is tempting to get chairs on the cheap, the fact is that you may be spending a significant amount of time in the conference room, as others, and having subpar chairs will make it difficult to concentrate on the work at hand. Spend the money so that you have chairs that are adjustable in height and offer good back support. And make sure that they are sturdy enough to stand up to hours of use by a variety of people.
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Let's say that you have a meeting with five other people, two from outside your company. These people may be bringing a laptop on which to show you some graphics, statistics, demos, or other things. It would help if you had a connection to your computer in the conference room and a power connection for the laptop. And they may also want to have their phone charging during the meeting, so you would need a place for them to do that. If you or your team also bring a laptop or two, plus your phones and maybe other devices, you must have enough power connections in the conference room. Outlets on the walls are fine and needed, but what about having a central space on the conference room table for power connections and PC connections? What about having a dedicated space in the room for charging cell phones or other devices? When you don't have enough power connections, it leaves a bad mark on your clients.
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The lighting situation in your conference room needs to be flexible, depending on what is going on. This includes natural light and artificial light. You may need to dynamically adjust the lighting situation in the conference room multiple times during a single meeting, depending on what is going on at the time. Having blinds or shades for the windows is useful for cutting out additional light when you don't want it. You should also have your artificial light not just be an on/off choice, but it should include a dimmer option as well. Viewing the screen may help reduce the artificial and natural light to see the screen better. Better is if you can individually control each light or set of lights, as well as the window coverings. At other times, you may use the natural light, or you might want to supplement the natural light a bit. Flexibility is the game's name, as it can make the room more comfortable, which means better productivity.
Depending on how people like to use the space, you may find that you need a presenter to be more mobile during their presentations. Others are fine sitting, and others might prefer to use a podium. No matter what is happening in the conference room, you should have sufficient space to accommodate the people's needs using the area. Be sure that your space doesn't have cords laying around either, as this can clog up space. Tuck them neatly behind a cord keeper device to prevent any issues. This again goes back to comfort, and a more generous space leads to better productivity.
This is actually for both the users of the conference room and the people outside the conference room. Sometimes, when people get together, things can get a bit louder than usual, either from a celebration or from heated exchanges. Regardless of the reason, having your conference room adequately soundproofed is a good idea for everyone involved. You can install soundproof doors, add acoustic ceiling tiles to absorb sound, and add other features to the walls to help mitigate the sound that leaves the conference room. And don't forget the wall that the screen and speakers are hanging from, as that sound could travel through the wall to space on the other side. If that happens to be another office, that could be disruptive to whoever is in that office.
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As you probably saw throughout this list of ways to design your conference room, comfort is an essential thread throughout much of the ideas. Convenience not only for those who are using the conference room but also comfort for those outside of the conference room. A well-designed conference room anticipates the needs of the users and provides helpful and unobtrusive solutions. The little things make the difference if attention is paid to it right from the start. And a well-designed conference room impresses visitors with the attention to detail.
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