The right business office furniture makes it easier for employees to do their jobs and helps present the right image to customers who drop by your office. This is especially true of conference room furnishings. When you have comfortable chairs, ample table space and adequate arrangements for electronics in your conference room, it is easier to conduct productive meetings and get through agendas efficiently. Following is a rundown of some of the latest trends in conference room furniture.
Make it Comfortable
Modern conference rooms are all about equality, which encourages sharing and collaboration. Many companies have switched to round tables, which make it easier to communicate. Standard oval and rectangular tables are still popular, but many businesses prefer other configurations, like a U-shaped arrangement. If you often conduct training sessions in your conference room, it may make sense to use classroom seating, or to have the option to convert to this configuration. This includes a podium in front and several tables facing it. People at the meeting sit three or four to a table. Make sure that all the room’s chairs match. The time when one was throne-like, with arms and a high back to signify importance, are gone. Buy chairs that are padded, ergonomic and comfortable enough for extended sitting.
Make it Roomy
Figure out how many people will use your conference room on average, as well as the maximum capacity, and design it accordingly. If the largest number of people you need to fit into your conference room is 32, the rule of thumb is that its dimensions should be 32 feet by 14 feet. Anything smaller leads to a claustrophobic and airless feeling. Your attendees need room to get up and move around, so don’t choose a table and other furnishings that take up too much floor space. Have more than one focal point if the room can accommodate it. It is helpful for bigger meetings to break up into smaller ones so people can share ideas. Having several smaller tables off to the side, in addition to the large table, invites closer collaboration.
Make it Functional
Conference rooms aren’t just for display. These spaces need to have everything in place to make them functional workspaces for employees, sales reps and customers. This means investing in basics like whiteboards, which make it easier for your team to plan projects and evaluate progress. Or consider installing a smart board, an electronic version of the whiteboard. These save the information you write on the board, reducing the need for a transcribing. Be sure to have adequate data ports and plug-ins for audio/visual equipment and for attendees’ laptops.
Video conferencing has become an essential at many business meetings. Make it easy for the camera by using consistent, bright light so everyone shows up clearly. Avoid glare from sunlight by installing blinds on the windows. Keep artwork to a minimum and paint walls neutral colors. Make room for snacks and a coffee and tea dispenser, or even a small refrigerator.
Plan your conference area so it leads to productive meetings and select the most appropriate tables and chairs. When you are ready to furnish your new conference room or modernize an existing space, visit Guild Hall’s Salt Lake City, Utah, showroom and take a look at their fine lines of business office furniture and accessories.