The decisions made in a conference room can be some of the most important ones your staff makes. They might be hosting distinguished colleagues or determining significant aspects of the company’s future. That should happen in a space that is clean, bright and lends itself to effective work and communication. Productivity, focus and appearance are vital.
When it’s time to design a conference room, you want to prioritize creating an environment conducive to the work your staff needs to do. Take the following steps to help your conference room become a productivity powerhouse.
1. Determine Your Colors
Conference rooms should be sleek and straightforward. You want the focus to be on the meeting, not necessarily the place. Make it tie into the rest of your office and use your company’s signature colors where appropriate. Don’t let them be garish or obtrusive, though. A bright neon green wall is not very calming, but a simple pop of color can be energizing.
2. Have Plenty of Seating
Employees should be able to focus on work, not where they can sit and place their belongings. Try to maximize seating and include lots of table space.
3. Include Functional Items
Conference rooms are more than just places to discuss things — they are where people work through problems. Include tools they may need, like whiteboards, markers and a strong Wi-Fi connection. You’ll also need a projector or screen for employees to give presentations on and space for them to stand.
You may also want to include a food and drink area for those long meetings and notable guests. Install a water machine and coffee maker for a stimulating pick-me-up corner. Veggies, nuts and fruit are also good snack options that won’t distract others during a meeting. Make sure there is a tabletop area for things like sandwich platters or pizza if you plan on holding large gatherings.
4. Use Natural Light
You’re not imagining things: Fluorescent lighting is an incredibly damaging force to your workday. It can make you less productive, sleepier and stressed out. Natural light, on the other hand, wakes you up, puts you in a better mood and can help you focus. Try to incorporate large windows in your conference room to reap these benefits.
Another positive aspect of natural lighting is that it can save you on energy costs since sunlight brightens up the room instead of electricity.
5. Make It Soundproof
The distracting sounds from the breakroom down the hall can make it hard to focus. Soundproof walls are an excellent start, but many modern offices use lots of glass windows to separate rooms. Try using soundproof glass to keep the noise down. It isn’t 100% quiet, but it can significantly reduce the amount of sound transmission, especially if paired with a special framing system.
6. Use High-Quality A/V Equipment
Conferences involve lots of presentations, and poor equipment can make or break a meeting with an important client. Supply employees with reliable technology and help them impress your guests. The machinery should be powerful enough to run all the software it needs to, whether that’s a videoconference or a PowerPoint. It should also be easy to use. Stick with similar technology to what your employees use regularly, so they can get it up and running quickly.
7. Add Plants
Being in a stuffy office all day is enough to make anyone feel a little “blah.” Greenery can help reduce stress, increase productivity and boost creativity, among many other benefits. Just a handful of plants boosted productivity by 15% in one study. Consider a simple leafy addition to your conference room to help staff members focus and enjoy the space more.
Beef up Your Conference Room Design
Taking the time to focus on your conference room can mean a world of difference to your staff. Use these tips to create a space that will help them focus, be more productive and make better business decisions.