When you first think of a conference room, a few words come to mind: boredom, meetings, lost time. However, there are ways to transform your conference room from a place of dull meetings to a productive and vital space in your office.
Whether you work in a large corporate office that has all the bells and whistles, or you’re a startup that struggles to find enough room to accomplish the job, it might be time to maximize the use of your conference room.
- Make the conference room multi-use. Why take up valuable space for a dry, weekly meeting? Think of all the different functions you could hold in your conference room. By moving the tables and chairs, you can have an open floor space for company get-togethers, meals, and team-building activities.
- Use the conference room for hidden storage, the key word being hidden. No one likes a cluttered space that’s hard to maneuver in, but you can put the room to good use. By investing in proper storage containers and cabinets, you can stow away items that are used less often.
- Transform the walls with dry erase paint. Nothing spurs creativity like having an open area to write and think in a group. Not only will dry erase paint transform the look and feel of the room, but it will provide a great space for coming up with the next big idea.
- Invest in comfortable furniture. How many good ideas were lost because a staff member couldn’t get comfortable and lost focus? If you’re looking for productivity, it starts with the ability of personnel to focus on the task at hand.
- Pay attention to the look of the conference room. Just as it is with providing comfortable furniture, putting thought into the look of the room will enhance everyone’s ability to work. By giving the conference room a clean appearance and providing plenty of light, you will eliminate potential distractions.
- Consider the overall feel. Focusing on details such as heating and cooling, and even down to the nitty gritty things like the smell of the room, will allow your employees to zero in on business rather than being distracted.
- Eliminate distractions inside the conference room. While a little art and warm décor can contribute to productivity, going overboard will have the opposite effect. But there are more potential distractions than just what you can see. Consider the buzzing of the light overhead and the rattle of the heater in the closet outside. Eliminate as many distractions as possible to get the most out of your conference room.
- Provide all the necessary tools. In order to conduct business, you may need a range of tools from audio-visual equipment to a stash of pens and notebooks. You may also consider providing basics like snacks and water to keep team members from having to leave the room at short intervals. The more necessary tools and supplies you have on hand, the less your team members will be distracted with the need to leave.
- Make the conference room technology friendly. Have you ever been out of battery power and needed an outlet? Or have you been in a room that’s cut off from the wi-fi? Needless to say, these are factors that inhibit productivity. Make sure your conference room has the tools your team needs to maximize meetings and collaborative efforts.
- Optimize the space for collaboration. Conference rooms don’t have to be the stale picture we often see with long tables and everyone in their place. Open up the room and allow team members to work freely. Also, encourage people to use the conference room whenever they want to work together on projects.
Take a look around your conference room and see where it stands now, and what you can do to optimize the space. By maximizing the above suggestions, your conference room will transform from a place that your crew dreads to a place where great ideas are born.