Business owners will know first hand that dedicated office space is getting expensive. Pre pandemic, price per desk could be up to £1500 in some of London’s most desirable boroughs, forcing some companies to sacrifice their traditional meeting rooms in favour of more functional desk spaces. With a hybrid model of working looking ever more likely though, we think the meeting room may once again come into its own.
Whether you love them or hate them, meetings are still a crucial practice for most businesses. The words ‘meeting room’ might conjure an image of a large corporate table surrounded by uncomfortable chairs but there are plenty of options that will spark more joy. With the office set to become more of a hub for employees to congregate, a variety of ‘meeting spaces’ will be most valuable. That’s why we’re here to help you create spaces that can be cleverly configured to suit your needs.
This might sound like a contradiction, but we have witnessed so many companies only use their meeting space for a Monday morning meeting. That means for the majority of the day, or even week, it’s sat empty and unused.
Remote workers have missed creative and collaborative tasks the most, so it might be tempting to turn your office into one big co-working space, but this could be risky. Employees still need space for concentrated work on their days in the workplace.
Our first tip is to think of your workplace as one flat space and challenge all of your preconceptions about what a meeting space should be. The next step is to think about who will be in the office and when (you will need to follow government guidelines on social distancing for now). How you are going to make a meeting space to suit the team?
For example, if you have a
loud ‘vibrant’ sales team, don’t create a touchdown meeting space next to roles that require a high level of concentration. Using this approach to design your space, incorporate a multitude of different meeting spaces to make them work for everyone.
For the creative team, a poser height collaborative table might be more appropriate to meet and share ideas. Add colour and texture with a set of high stools and you have yourself a stylish (and more relaxed) meeting space.
For HR, who might need to conduct private meetings, a retrofittable and acoustically sound meeting pods are the way to go. These are easily assembled within the existing floor plan of your office, have their own lighting and power, are completely free standing and can be configured to suit any space. Screens can also be fitted to accommodate both those in the office and out. As well as adhering to all of the necessary health and safety, these pods look sleek and contemporary.
Using flexible furniture in your meeting space means that you can easily transform the room to suit your needs. In our case, we use flip top tables to configure our space for one to one meetings, conferences, or fold them up to store them behind our meeting pod. Paired with attractive stacking chairs that are easily stored when not in use.
Alternatively, products such as Campers and Dens by manufacturer Orangebox work to cleverly provide a multitude of spaces in one.
Acoustic dividers that help to block out the noise from the office can also help to create informal meeting spaces. Kivo by Herman Miller is one of our personal favourites as its interchangeable triangular pieces make it so versatile. Wrap it round a set of iconic armchairs, and centre around a coffee table, for a casual yet private meeting space. Soft pieces such as these will also help you to absorb reverberated noise from your office making it a truly multi functional piece.
Your meeting spaces are a reflection of the brand and company culture your are trying to cultivate. Whether you are more corporate or casual, it’s important to make an impression that says something about you. With many workers anxious about returning to the office its also a great opportunity to help your employees feel safe and valued.
There are so many solutions out there for successful meeting spaces that don’t consist of a humdrum boardroom table and gaggle of mis-match chairs. Have a chat with one of the team at Love Your Workspace if you need help making the most of your space.
This post was originally published on 27.06.18 by Emily Cooper and updated on 12.05.21 by Rachelle Dare.