While boardroom meetings are often essential parts of office life, they can be tedious and hard to follow for all involved, particularly if not much of the meeting concerns many of the meeting attendants. When hosting any type of boardroom meeting, keeping the attention of your audience is essential, otherwise they will get distracted, they will doze off and they will miss important parts of the meeting or will not contribute in the way that you would like.

Surprisingly enough, the furniture and the layout you choose for the design of the meeting room can play a crucial part in the level of participation you may receive from your attendees. It can be a difficult task; making a long and essential meeting seem exciting enough for 20 or 30 people to stay engaged and setting out your meeting room in such a way that makes it awkward for others to participate can only worsen the matter. Therefore it is essential to take a few things into account when renovating your meeting room, in order to maximise reception and productivity at meetings.

Choosing the right meeting room chairs

Going too far to the left or the right can be damaging for attentiveness at your office meetings. You’ll need your meeting room chairs to be relatively comfortable otherwise your colleagues will spend the entire time groaning and shifting in their seats in an attempt to get comfortable. However, make them too comfortable and people will easily nod off, particularly in a long and detailed meeting about…sales reports for example. Swivel chairs make a good all round desk chair as they are flexible and provide a reasonable amount of comfort. However they can also be firm and correct bad posture, keeping colleagues alert during meetings. If you have a fear of people becoming distracted by the swivel feature on the chairs (as many things can distract during long meetings), it is easy to mark out those distracted by the movement of their chairs. A gentle call to attention will help straighten out the ‘swivellers’.

Subtle yet driven Office Furnishings

A complete lack of artwork or furnishings within a room can make the room seem very bleak and drab indeed. However impressionist or abstract artwork can be distracting during long meetings. Instead consider using office slogans as inspirational posters, or using the office logo as a form of decoration. It provides a silent reminder of the company as well as breaking up the monotony of the room without distracting those present at the meeting.

Gentle colour palette; Not Stark White or Drab Grey

Again, too much or too little colour present in a meeting room can be a negative during long meetings. Try to avoid stark colours as this can be harsh on the eyes if your colleagues are used to a slightly brighter office. Cream is a good choice as it is not invasive and a pleasant colour to see. Mixing cream with one other bright colour in small increments is also a good idea. Too much colour can be easily distracting or even confusing for co-workers trying to focus on one area of the room, but not enough colour can be boring and colleagues may doze. Try to find the balance. Incorporate company colours (unless company colours are grey) if you can to keep it work focused on a subliminal level.

Furniture Arrangement

The arrangement of your meeting room is essential. Depending on where you want your colleagues to focus, you may need to consider setting up your meeting room in certain ways. If your meetings are structured around a table, this needs to be the centrepiece of the room and must be easily seen from all angles. If you are looking at a powerpoint presentation on a whiteboard, it does no good to have half the chairs in the room stuck behind large cabinets. Structure the layout of the room accordingly.

When renovating, try to imagine looking at the central focus from all points of the room. This way you can see any potential setbacks and try to avoid them. Planning is essential with any type of renovation, so in order to get the most out of your meeting room you want to make sure that the central focus point of your room can be seen by all.

Whether your meetings are just there to present the company’s latest developments or whether they are an access point to encouraging new debates and developments with your staff, the layout of your meeting room is essential. By ignoring certain flaws in the design of your meeting room, you could be unwittingly shooting yourself in the foot. Try making a few minor adjustments to the seating plan in your meeting room and see how effective it is. A renovation might be just the thing you need to increase office productivity during meetings.


About the Author:

Article provided by Whiteleys Office, an office furniture specialist based in Kent, UK.

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