"37% of employee time is spent in meetings"
Board rooms may be coming a thing of the past for some, but many commercial offices still need to ensure that the space they hold for ever important meetings encapsulates feelings of:
It also needs to be curated using the least amount of space practical, so that areas of higher use are prioritised to maximise efficiency.
So, what are the keys to designing a board-room that speaks volumes?
The modern office worker is always running short on time, and one way in a boardroom you can maximise this, is by minimising effort in the room setup. Things like automated light controls, air flow, blinds, and your sound system can be installed to allow employees to run a meeting; not waste time getting them perfect.
Darker tones in the boardroom are popular due to focus they can offer without providing distraction, however, be mindful of colours like red that can aggravate anger, green; that can make you feel sick, or blues; that can leave you feeling a little too 'zen'. White should also be avoided as it looks bad in conference calls, and can create a sterile environment.
The best colours?
Muted, natural tones to offer professionalism with a touch of elegance e.g. pale blue/green, grey or taupe are all great options, and match in easy with commercial furniture.
Natural light is a great idea, though not always practical. So, make sure you position your LED lights over the centre of the boardroom table so participants can read notes easily, enter information on their computers, and also have dimming enabled for power-point presentations. Consider your furniture placement, BEFORE you install lights to avoid distraction, and issues associated with eye and neck strain,
Note: Brights lights help keep people stay awake and engaged, while softer lights are great for PPT's.
The modern office worker has a plethora of technology at their fingertips; smart phones, tablets, laptops and multiple screens all dominate the workday, and in the boardroom, it's no different.
To ensure time spent on connecting is minimal, projectors (HDMI, AV and VGA connections) require multiple cables that can be cleanly run through concealed pipes in the ceiling to the conference table so anyone can plug in their tech-of-choice and connect to the projector.
Want to get fancy? conceal the projector in the ceiling and have it automatically lower when needed to avoid the distraction of an eye sore, or check out these options via zoom and best in practice at tech radar for 2019.
In an ideal world, we would have perfect weather and the ability to open windows. However, this is not the case in most parts of the working-world.
Solution? Invest in a quality air-conditioning unit that can be automatically programmed to prepare for meetings ahead of schedule.
Boardrooms need to be clean, clear and distraction free - and your furniture selection should reflect that. By design, you'll want to add elements of warmth to the room, and work with the chosen colours scheme, to create a welcoming atmosphere to employees and prospects.
What are your key pieces to invest in? projectors, white-boards, a sturdy boardroom table and ergonomic chairs.
The key for meetings, is to ensure your employees are supported and engaged for long periods of time.
Why? Less fidgeting = more focus.
Therefore, chairs should have optional adjustments for the seat (forward and back movement), back (tilt forward and back, arch support, adjustable height) and height (employees of all heights - don't forget heels!). Ideally, they will also have arms that move in in three clicks: upward, in or outward to cater for stature, and on the diagonal plane to support the bodies natural posture. Bare in mind, that boardrooms are often multi-functional, so as a bonus, invest in chairs that are easy to move and adjust for multiple users.
Mind maps, thought-processes, equations, idea bubbles, facts and figures are all
great to display on a white-board, and with technology, a simple click of your phone/tablet camera can capture shared information to share at a later time.
Incorporating direct or indirect elements of nature into the built environment have been demonstrated through research to reduce stress, blood pressure levels and heart rates, whilst increasing productivity, creativity and self reported rates of well-being.
"Biophilia literally means love of life" - Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson
"Biophilia literally means love of life" says Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson. He describes biophilia as the innate human need to affiliate with life.
Introducing elements such as live plants, a grand wooden table or a tranquil water feature can boost wellbeing by increasing air quality, thermal comfort, toxin levels and ventilation, as well as providing physiological and psychological benefits.
If you're entertaining leads, then having branded stationary sitting at the ready won't go amiss. Notebooks, pens, or even corporate logos on mugs and glasses are great ideas for product placement to keep clients thinking about you well after the doors have closed on the day.
Last but not least, make it --------------------->
When you do your grocery shopping, you have so many options in an aisle, that you are forced to make more micro-decisions than you care for after a full day.
Is that what you want for your employees?
A beautiful decor is great in break-out spaces to help staff zone-out, but in the boardroom, you want them focused on whoever is speaking, what's being presented and solutions to the problems that may arise. You want them to be ENGAGED, so keeping your meeting room clean (even the whiteboard!) has to be a priority.
Time poor? Hire a good cleaner, and make sure they make this a priority!
Want more specifics?
Check out this detailed article by Macquarie University that talks size, floors, ceilings, walls, openings, and space.
If you're thinking about re-fitting your commercial office and need some guidance, send us an email to our NEW address at email@example.com or give us an old fashioned phone call over a cuppa at (03) 9761 4555 and ask how we can help make your boardroom come to life.
Wishes in wellness,
The Balance Team
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