Meetings, meetings, meetings. They are unavoidable parts of the day for employees all over the world. While just the idea of adding one more meeting to your already hectic week might make you twitch, you’re definitely not alone.
The Harvard Business Review recently surveyed 182 senior managers across a variety of industries and found that:
- 71% said meetings are unproductive and inefficient.
- 62% said meetings miss opportunities to bring the team closer together.
There’s a general understanding that the way many of us are going about our meetings needs improvement. One of the first places to start is with your conference room design and technology.
Below are six conference room design trends that can help you better engage employees so you can get the most out of every minute spent in a meeting.
1. Flexible Meeting Spaces
A large conference room is perfect for department check-ins or client meetings. However, these rooms are less than ideal for quick brainstorming sessions or one-on-one interactions.
With conference room shortages becoming a major problem for many growing businesses, these larger-than-life meeting areas are often booked for small purposes which is a waste of resources and can make for an impersonal conversation.
To solve this dilemma, many businesses are opting for flexible, customizable conference room designs. But don’t worry — there’s no need to tear down drywall or install beams. With removable dividers, you can break up one large conference room into two smaller meeting areas or merge several spaces together to fit a big group.
This is a quick and easy solution for space expansion as long as you consider how acoustics and furniture will be affected before you decide on your layout.
2. Interactive Whiteboards
Interactive whiteboards enable you to deliver more dynamic presentations so you can have more productive meetings.
Combined with your video conferencing platform, you can:
- Annotate documents and photos
- Record meetings
- Save and email files in various formats
- Collaborate with team members across devices, offices and time zones
The interactivity keeps everyone engaged and the technology makes meetings run more efficiently.
3. Video Conferencing
Many industries are embracing work-from-home opportunities, which has benefits for both employees and employers. However, meetings can become tricky in remote scenarios. Traditional phone calls might get the job done but there’s no denying that face-to-face interactions result in more productive, collaborative conversations.
Since meetings will never be avoidable (sorry), video conferencing technology is a must-have for offices around the world. Programs like Zoom offer video conferencing, interactive whiteboarding and screen sharing so that all employees can make their meetings more efficient — whether they’re in the same room or different time zones.
4. Improve Your Acoustics
Terrible acoustics can ruin any room, no matter how comfortable the furniture is or how impressive the wall art may be. For conference room design especially, the proper sound management can make or break the success of your meetings.
If your conference room or meeting space is intended for private conversations, there are sound absorption techniques that can provide all the discretion you need. Many people worry about installing ugly sound panels that clash with their décor, but acoustic art panels can be customized with images, brand colors, logos and other designs to keep your room unique to your company.
Check out the panels in the DGI music-inspired Fender conference room. They look like traditional wall art but they are actually acoustic panels!
5. Add Personality to Your Conference Rooms
Too many meeting areas are set up and lit like an interrogation room. Empty white walls with harsh lighting isn’t welcoming or interesting, so getting everyone to focus and be creative is more difficult in this type of environment.
Even adding small details to the design of your conference room can make a huge difference in the productivity of a meeting. Whether you add a colorful accent wall, custom-branded signage or an inspiring piece of wall art, your meeting area can transform from a dull four-walled room into an inspiring center of creativity.
Think of this from your employees’ and clients’ points of view. Are they going to be excited to spend an hour inside four white walls with no windows and lights beating down on them? Everyone will likely be a lot more comfortable and inspired to work with a little bit of design and personality.
At the same time, don’t go crazy with the design of your conference rooms. Overdoing it can lead to distracted employees.
6. LED Video Walls
Probably the most innovative type of display for any conference room design right now is an LED video wall.
LEDs were once considered the unicorn of the industry — they were hard to acquire and somewhat expensive. Fortunately, now they’re much more affordable so you can have the best display possible in any conference room or meeting area.
LED technology blows away any projector or monitor by displaying vibrant colors, from the brightest whites to the darkest blacks. The high-quality, sharp images look great from any angle, so all meeting attendees will have a clear picture of your presentation.
DGI Communications is happy to help you improve your conference room design so you can have more productive meetings. Contact us to get started.