Game of Conference Rooms
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal, the conference room is no longer just a place to hold meetings and take conference calls—it’s a battleground.
Why? A lack of space. With private office space continuously dwindling, meeting rooms are now being utilized more than ever by more individuals. Many meetings used to take place in private offices, which isn’t an option in most modern-day workplaces where private offices are a thing of the past.
Instead, the conference room takes the place of the private office. With more individuals using these conference rooms, conflicts come in the form of double booking conference rooms, going over your meeting time slot, and having to boot coworkers and superiors who go over time out of the space. This results in unneeded tensions in the office and confusion—both distractions from work that needs to be done.
So how do we solve the battle over the conference rooms?
Clearly Define Conference Room Rules and Etiquette
A code of conduct for conference room usage can go a long way to dispel unneeded tensions and distractions. It may feel stilted, especially in a company with a more laid-back culture, but it’s an effective method nonetheless.
Ensure that everyone knows the constraints and how they are expected to act. You can share this information as a company-wide email or a quick meeting detailing the issues and the new rules established to solve them. For example, making it clear that meetings should not go over the reserved time can help people avoid clashes and force more productive meetings. Constraints can be powerful motivators—knowing they only have a half hour to get everything done can keep people focused during meetings.
Create More Space for Meetings
The most obvious way to solve this problem is to add more conference rooms. In some instances, this may be all that is needed. Perhaps there is an unused office that you can easily convert into a meeting space by adding the appropriate furniture items.
However, we understand that adding another conference room is not a simple prospect for most businesses. Space comes at a premium, and most of it is probably in use. If that’s the case, it’s time to think creatively about how you can use the space you currently have.
Think About the Office Building Beyond Your Floor
Some office buildings have general conference rooms available for use. Some even offer these spaces free of charge—you simply have to sign up. Consider if this is an option for your company.
Many furniture options allow you to create separate office spaces. Using dividers and partitions allows you to section off a designated meeting space that teams can use when the other conference rooms are booked. Dividers don’t have to be boring; LOFTwall creates incredibly stylish ways to divide and section off spaces.
Add Collaborative Functionality to the Breakroom
In most companies, the breakroom is occupied for only a few hours each day. This means it stands almost completely empty for most of the day. Outfitting your breakroom with multipurpose furniture will allow teams to use it as a meeting space without disturbing anyone. Consider multifunctional furniture that includes couches and adjustable height tables. With such products, employees can choose how to best use the furniture to suit their needs, whether collaborating or resting.