After recently watching an interview about some large scale office design projects in San Francisco for clients like Twitter, Square, Github, and Autodesk, it struck me that I often focus on large-scale office designs. It is easy to do too. Small offices generally don't have large budgets. Small offices might not photograph as well. And small offices are simply not as grand.
But even though small offices might not get as much attention, today we'll be taking a peek at an office element that is common to all offices – the meeting room. But not just any old meeting rooms—let's take a look at smaller meeting rooms that might be found in small offices, like the Steelcase Susan Cain Quiet Space pictured above.
What Makes A Great Meeting Room?
In order to have a great meeting room, there is quite a bit more involved than just having the required space, and a table and chairs. As anyone that has spent much time being in meetings knows, not having the proper equipment (and training) can really halt productivity. Space matters!
The basic idea is that you want to anticipate the needs of the people using the meeting room so it can be a tool in their arsenal and not a hinderance to their productivity.
A few key items you might consider when outfitting your meeting room:
- projector / compatible hookups / remote
- computer / keyboard / mouse / speakers
- accessible power connections / internet access
- whiteboards / markers / erasers
Designing a Small Meeting Room for a Small Office
Now that you've purchased all of the equipment you need, there is still the necessity of designing the small meeting room. Design includes the layout and the look-and-feel, but the main concern is making the space work how employees expect it to work.
If staff see a meeting room with 5 chairs, they'll expect that it will work as a meeting place for up to 5 people. If it doesn't – the design has failed. Employees should be able to walk into a meeting room and use it in a frictionless way in the way one expects a pen or pencil to work.
But as it stands for smaller businesses, it is important to remember that you want to make meeting rooms that work on a scale of your business. Boardrooms with 20 chairs are nice, but if you've only got 12 employees, you've just wasted a lot of space and resources.
Styling your Small Meeting Rooms
Even though designing your small meeting room is completed, you can still add some life to it by styling and decorating it to shape your office's atmosphere.
- add colored walls – use different pops in different rooms to make distinguishing between them easy
- add floor treatments like rugs or colored floor tiles
- add wall graphics to send a message about company values
- add wall-writing capability to add a more comfortable atmosphere to the space
- add graphics or frosting to the glass to give slightly more privacy and add some style
- add unique furniture that makes a statement about your business
How have you made your small meeting rooms work for your office?